China seeks to allay Belt and Road debt concerns

The Sri Lankan government's attempt to block Facebook and its associated services has seen the company hit back

The Sri Lankan government's attempt to block Facebook and its associated services has seen the company hit back

In his meeting with Xi on Thursday, Duterte raised the West Philippine Sea dispute, the situation at Pag-asa (Thitu) Island, which had been swarmed by almost 300 Chinese vessels mostly belonging to China's maritime militia since January, and the harvesting of endangered giant clams at Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte raise a toast during a state banquet in Malacañang during Xi's state visit in November 2018.

The two formal accords were signed after President Rodrigo Duterte met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and agreed to further enhance the bilateral relations at the Great Hall of the People. "The drug treatment facilities, funded by China through a grant, are located in Sarangani and Agusan del Norte. Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia of NEDA and Chairman He Lifeng of NDRC signed the document on behalf of their respective countries".

He said there was a "very frank but constructive" discussion between Xi and Duterte, who raised the worldwide arbitral ruling, which the Chinese leader still refused to recognize. Duterte is in China to attend the second Belt and Road forum for the Philippines.

The Belt and Road Initiative is China's attempt to revive the ancient Silk Road trading network that spanned continental Asia, and create a new "maritime silk road" that extends to Africa and beyond.

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The U.S. military has not suggested it would change its behavior after the blacklisting. US crude inventories were also an overhang, analysts said.

"Both agree that the situation can be managed by the mechanism of bilateral negotiations but it should not affect the cooperation being undertaken by both the Philippines and China and they look forward to a productive discussion on matters of mutual concern and interests", Panelo said. Duterte also congratulated China on its 70th founding anniversary and said Xi's state visit to Manila in November a year ago was a "watershed moment" in the Philippines-China ties.

Talking about the Belt and Road Initiative, the prime minister said: "I strongly endorse China's vision of a peaceful world based on win-win cooperation and community of shared destiny and a new model of development envisioned in President Xi's Belt and Road Initiative".

Prior to his China visit, Duterte skipped the Boao Economic Forum for Asia Conference which was hosted by the Philippines for the first time. Earlier, Sta. Romana said the Philippines has asked China to practice "self-restraint in the South China Sea, after the presence of several hundred Chinese vessels near Pag-asa Island triggered protests from Manila".

Aside from what she called China's "bullying" in the West Philippine Sea, Gutoc said the rising number of illegal Chinese workers in the Philippines "gives more reason for the government to think twice about China's sincerity".

The Philippine government, Mr. Duterte also said, would like to hear Mr. Xi's thoughts on "progress achieved in further strengthening bilateral relations and recent developments in our region". Duterte has denied any government hand in the suit.

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