Duterte, Xi to meet on sidelines of China forum: DFA

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 06 2018 11:17 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands prior to their bilateral meetings at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on October 20, 2016. King Rodriguez, Malacañang Photo/File

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping when he visits China for the third time next week, a foreign affairs official said Friday.

Duterte will be in China from April 9 to 10 to attend the Boao Forum for Asia, also known as Asia's answer to the annual World Economic Forum hosted in Switzerland.

From China, Duterte will go to Hong Kong for a working visit.

The President will have a bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of the forum “to discuss ways to further enhance bilateral relations” between the Philippines and China, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Manuel Teehankee said.

The two leaders last met during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders' Meeting in Vietnam last November.

Duterte’s attendance at the Boao Forum in the southern province of Hainan will be his third visit to China since assuming the presidency.

Duterte made a state visit to China in October 2016 as Manila sought to repair ties with Beijing that were strained by disputes in the South China Sea.

In May 2017, Duterte made his second visit to China to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, where Xi unveiled an ambitious plan to build a trade route that spans Asia, Europe and Africa.

Xi is expected to attend the forum and deliver a keynote speech, the Chinese government’s top diplomat, State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, said.

China will unveil new measures on reform and opening up at the annual forum, Wang said.

Chinese leaders have pledged to roll out fresh market-opening measures this year, which marks the 40th anniversary of China’s landmark economic reforms and opening up under former leader Deng Xiaoping.

Xi will make "the most authoritative interpretation" on reforms and opening up, Wang said.

- with Reuters