China, Philippines jointly draw new blue print for friendly cooperation

The development of China-Philippines relations is good news for regional stability. At present, both countries are carrying out close cooperation in drug control, anti-terrorism and combating cybercrimes. Moreover, the two sides have also kept in-depth discussion of the pragmatic cooperation in such fields as fishery, maritime affairs, joint search and rescue, and marine research and environmental protection.

By People’s Daily

The Philippines and China have kept close friendly relationship, Joseph Estrada, former President of the Philippines and current mayor of Manila City, told People’s Daily in an interview, noting that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the Philippines will further deepen the pragmatic cooperation between the two countries in various fields and enhance bilateral friendship.

The Philippines and China are both Asian countries that share a natural close bond, Estrada noted, adding that the large number of overseas Chinese and their descendants living in the Philippines are also a bridge linking the two countries.

The development of China-Philippines relations is good news for regional stability. At present, both countries are carrying out close cooperation in drug control, anti-terrorism and combating cybercrimes. Moreover, the two sides have also kept in-depth discussion of the pragmatic cooperation in such fields as fishery, maritime affairs, joint search and rescue, and marine research and environmental protection.

The Philippines officially assumed the ASEAN-China country coordinator from August 2018. The cooperation of the two countries in both regional and multilateral affairs will help protect the interests of developing countries, and achieve greater development of the China-ASEAN relationship and East Asia cooperation.

The Philippines and China, by joint efforts in some practical cooperative projects and strengthening people-to-people exchanges, will continuously enhance mutual trust, said Gloria Arroyo, Former Philippine President and current Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines.

Arroyo added that she sincerely hopes that more young people from the Philippines can go to China and witness the country’s achievements. The bilateral relations will continue to progress and China’s experience of governance is worth learning, she remarked.

Bilateral economic cooperation also saw big improvement. Since 2017, the bilateral trade volume has substantially increased, and China’s investment to the Philippines has recorded a fast growth.

According to China’s statistics, the 2017 trade volume between the two countries reached $51.36 billion, up 7.7 percent from a year ago. In the same year, China, which was the Philippines largest source of import and the fourth largest destination of export, became the largest trading partner of the latter for the first time.

During the first China International Import Expo (CIIE), participating enterprises from the Philippines scored $124 million in sales. Philippine Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said that the sales at CIIE far exceeded the target figure of $50 million. It’s hoped that the sales could continue to double at next year’s import expo, Lopez added.

The Philippines is an important hub for the Maritime Silk Road and a natural partner of China for the joint construction of Belt and Road Initiative. China supports Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s large-scale infrastructure program “Build, Build, Build”. Bilateral cooperation is currently accelerating and will play a positive role for the Philippines in improving both its economy and people’s livelihood.

China and the Philippines signed the Exchange Letter on Project of Dangerous Drugs Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers last November which formally broke ground in January 2018. Two drug rehabilitation centers, undertaken by China State Construction Engineering Corporation, are like two “windows of hope” standing in Mindanao, an island in southern Philippine. They are scheduled to be completed and handed over in late 2018 and early 2019.

Abdullah Dumama, the Philippine Assistant Secretary of Health extended his gratefulness to China for aiding the drug rehabilitation center project, believing that such a project will better protect people’s health, cultivate responsible citizens and also become the new witness of the long-lasting friendship between peoples of the two countries.

In July this year, two China-aided bridges started construction in the Philippines. China’s assistance witnessed the Philippines-China friendship, and was of great importance, Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez told People’s Daily, saying that the Belt and Road construction will be conducive to the interconnection within the region and even the world at large. It will also boost economic development of countries along its route, he added.

The Finance Secretary also noted that the Philippines is willing to be deeply engaged in the construction of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

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