MANILA - (UPDATE) President Rodrigo Duterte will exert some pressure on his counterpart, President Xi Jinping, to fulfill China's loan pledges worth billions of dollars, Duterte's spokesman said on Tuesday.
Xi will be on a 2-day state visit in the Philippines until Wednesday, and Duterte will be bringing up the topic of loans among other things, said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.
"This is the best time for the President to exert pressure on the Chinese President," he told ANC's Headstart when asked about the $24 billion deals Duterte brought home from China in 2016.
"Knowing the man, he will do that. He is that kind of person...He told us exactly what he is going to do and he will do that," he added, referring to his principal.
The two leaders will discuss "all the areas of concern," including security issue, trade relations, and "conflict among the claimants" in the South China Sea, said Panelo.
Manila might even negotiate the 2-percent interest rate on the loans from China, he said.
Duterte brought home an estimated $24 billion in investment and loan pledges after his first visit to Beijing in October 2016, but reports reveal that only a fraction of this has been delivered in the 2 years since.