|Li Keqiang Meets with President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines|
On April 25, 2019, Premier Li Keqiang met with President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.
Li Keqiang said that China and the Philippines are close neighbors facing each other across the sea, and their development and stability is closely related. President Xi Jinping held a fruitful meeting with Mr. President. With the joint efforts of the two sides, bilateral relations had achieved positive turnaround and consolidation, and had been progressing on the right track since Mr. President took office three years ago. The Chinese side is willing to see new achievements in the economic and social development of the Philippines, align the Belt and Road Initiative with the "Build, Build, Build" program of the Philippines, deepen exchanges in economy, trade, and investment, as well as enhance cooperation in areas including infrastructure construction projects. Peace and stability in the South China Sea is in line with the common interests of China, the Philippines and other countries in the region. The Chinese side supports the Philippines in fulfilling its responsibilities as the country coordinator for relations between China and Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and expects negotiations on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) to be completed soon. Li Keqiang also expressed confidence that countries around the South China Sea will be able to jointly safeguard peace and stability in the region with wisdom, adding that it is necessary to properly manage existing issues through dialogue and consultation, so as to realize common development.
Rodrigo Duterte said the Philippine side cherishes the friendship with China. Built on the basis of mutual trust and respect, bilateral relations have been enhanced significantly in recent years. Noting the contribution of the Belt and Road Initiative to global prosperity and connectivity, Rodrigo Duterte said the Philippine side is ready to actively deepen cooperation with China under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. The Philippine side, which is pressing ahead with the "Build, Build, Build" program, will further improve its business environment, and welcomes more investments from Chinese companies. The Philippines will firmly make the South China Sea a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation, and is looking forward to working with other parties to conclude the negotiations on the COC as soon as possible.