MANILA (UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte will visit China on Aug. 28 to Sep. 1, a day shorter than the schedule earlier released to the media, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Friday.
The President will be postponing his trip to Fuzhou city in Fujian province to witness the inauguration of a school building named after his mother Soledad due to "logistical issues," according to Chief of Presidential Protocol Robert Borje.
Duterte will hold his 8th bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Aug. 29 to discuss "issues of mutual interest" to both countries, DFA Assistant Secretary Meynardo Montealegre told reporters.
The Philippine leader earlier said he would raise 2016 Manila’s arbitral victory, which invalidated China's sweeping claims in the disputed West Philippine Sea, in his meeting with Xi.
"I'm going to China to talk. Did I not tell you before, that before my term ends, I will be talking about the [South] China Sea?” Duterte said earlier this month.
Aside from the arbitral ruling, the President will also raise the code of conduct on the South China Sea, a possible joint exploration for oil and gas, and the increasing presence of Chinese ships in Philippine waters.:
The two leaders will also witness the signing of several cooperative bilateral agreements on education, science and technology, and economic and social development, Montealegre said.
The next day, the President will attend some business meetings with trade officials, he added.
Malacañang also confirmed that Duterte will be joining Xi at the opening ceremonies of the FIBA World Cup in Beijing on Aug. 30.
From Beijing, the President will travel to Guangzhou to personally support Gilas Pilipinas in their first game against Italy on Aug. 31.
Prior to this, Duterte is expected to hold talks with Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, who will accompany him to the game along with officials of Guangzhou province.
The President earlier said he believes the Philippines men’s national basketball team doesn’t stand a chance against the taller players of Italy.
Duterte is scheduled to fly back to the Philippines on September 1.
--With reports from Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News