Cayetano off to China for 4-day visit


Posted at Jun 28 2017 06:52 PM

Cayetano off to China for 4-day visit 1

MANILA- Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano is off to a four-day visit to China Wednesday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

In a text message, the DFA said Cayetano will be in China from Wednesday, June 28, until Saturday, July 1. 

The visit is said to be upon the invitation of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The foreign office released no further details. 

Cayetano's China visit, among his first foreign trips as top diplomat, comes as ties between the Philippines and China warmed up despite unresolved disputes in the South China Sea. 

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said in a press briefing in Beijing Monday that the two countries will exchange views on China-Philippines relations, China-ASEAN relations, and international and regional issues of common interest.

"Since the turnaround in the bilateral relationship last year, we have further deepened political mutual trust, carried out practical cooperation in various aspects, restarted maritime dialogue and cooperation, and moved forward the bilateral relationship, which have created tangible benefits to people from the two sides and promoted regional peace and stability," Geng said. His remarks were posted at the Chinese foreign affairs ministry website.

Ties between Manila and Beijing have seen a renewal after President Rodrigo Duterte's visits and meetings with his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping.

The two initially met last year and again in May at the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing. 

"It is believed that the visit by Foreign Secretary Cayetano will bolster political mutual trust between the two countries, deepen bilateral cooperation in different fields, promote communication and coordination in regional cooperation and advance the strategic cooperative relationship for peace and development," Geng said.

Duterte has pursued friendlier ties with China as part of his foreign policy pivot, where he sought to deviate from traditional alliances, including the Philippines' long-standing ties with the United States. 

This even as China has ramped up militarization and island-building activities in the South China Sea, ignoring the Philippines' arbitration victory that had invalidated Beijing's sweeping claims to the resource-rich waters.