Sara Duterte leads China's anniversary celebration in Davao City

Hernel Tocmo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 30 2019 04:08 PM

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and other officials celebrate the 70th anniversary of China. ABS-CBN News

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and other officials celebrate the 70th anniversary of China. ABS-CBN News

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and other officials celebrate the 70th anniversary of China. ABS-CBN News

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and other officials celebrate the 70th anniversary of China. ABS-CBN News

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and other officials celebrate the 70th anniversary of China. ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio on Sunday joined the celebration of 70 years of Communist rule in China, which is eyeing a "higher level" of coordination with the Philippines. 

President Rodrigo Duterte's daughter and Chinese Consul General Li Lin led a program that featured song and dance performances that highlighted both Chinese and Mindanaoan cultures. 

"The historic rise of the People's Republic of China since its foundation is one that will be remembered for generations to come," Duterte-Carpio said in a toast. 

China will mark its anniversary on Tuesday with tightly-choreographed activities, including a massive military parade and the release of 70,000 doves, meant to showcase its rise from the ravages of war and famine to a nation state whose economic and military muscle is viewed by many with increasing concern. 

Beijing and Manila have contesting claims to the West Philippine Sea, but ties between the 2 nations have entered the "best period" under Duterte, said Li. 

"China's cooperation with the southern part of the Philippines will be brought to a higher level and Mindanao is going to contribute more significantly," he said. 
 
Davao City, the President's hometown, recently signed sisterhood agreements that allowed it to trade with the Chinese cities of Nanning and Jinjiang, with neighboring Chongqing expressing interest for a similar deal, he noted. 

Davao recently exported young coconuts and tuna to China, which is also considering sourcing fruits like durian and avocado from the region, said Li. 
 
"It should be a win-win cooperation. It benefits both, not only Davao City can benefit from the economic cooperation, trade with these sister cities, but also Chinese citizens in the sister cities can also benefit," he told reporters. 

"These products will provide Chinese consumers with more competitive price," he added. 

Direct flights from Davao to Hong Kong and Jinjiang were launched last year, while an airline also eyes flights to Chongqing, Li said. 

More Filipinos, he added, have applied for a Chinese visa since a Chinese Consulate General was established in Davao last year. 

China also funded several infrastructure projects in the south like the Mindanao Railway, and the Davao-Samal and Davao River bridges. 

"For the past years, the relationship between China and Davao City has truly blossomed," said Duterte-Carpio. 

Manila and Beijing next year will mark the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties. 

China is currently grappling with a trade spat with US that threatens to pummel the global economy, an outbreak of African swine fever that sent the price of staple pork soaring, and months of pro-democracy protests in semi-autonomous Hong Kong.