Reviving China-Philippines relations is likely one of the accomplishments that President Duterte that may spotlight in his second state-of-the-nation-address (SONA) on Monday.
Philippines Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana defined that the Duterte administration has used a two-track method to sort out South China Sea disputes with China, which later resulted in improved diplomatic and financial ties between the 2 nations.
“Instead of an approach putting the dispute at the center of the bilateral relations, the Duterte administration decided to separate into two tracks. The contentious issues on one track and non-contentious issues on another track,” Sta. Romana stated in a current interview with group of Filipino journalists in Beijing.
The contentious points, he stated, are the problems of sovereignty and maritime jurisdiction together with China’s nine-dash line whereas non-contentious points are commerce, financial, infrastructures and people-to-people exchanges.
“The non-contentious issues were frozen on the past years because the dispute has been put at the center. The basic approach now is don’t let the dispute be an obstacle to developing the non-contentious issues,” he defined.
The dual-track method has rejuvenated China-Philippines relations, resulting in President Duterte’s two productive visits to China upon the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“Our goal is to advance the Philippines’ national interest, the goal is to have friendship with all countries and to avoid conflict with any country. At least we were able to talk about it in amicable and civil manner now,” the envoy stated.
In his first go to in October final 12 months, President Duterte introduced dwelling US$24 billion value of funding pledges and infrastructure initiatives.
At the sideline of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation final May in Beijing, President Duterte witnessed the signing of settlement for China’s RMB500 million grant to the Philippines to conduct feasibility research for main initiatives, building of the drug abuse therapy and rehabilitation heart and bridges crossing the Pasig River and different initiatives agreed by either side.
“Aside from two bridges are three projects and these are Chico River irrigation project for farmers, Kaliwa Dam for water supply in Metro Manila and the South line railway from Laguna to Bicol,” Sta. Romana stated.
Sta. Romana hopes the 2 bridges alongside Pasig River and the three different infrastructure initiatives the place China will make investments USD three.5 billion will be launched inside this 12 months.
He stated the Mindanao railway part in Davao together with a protracted bridge from Panay Island through Negros to Guimaras Island will hopefully begin subsequent 12 months.
The improved China-Philippines relations had additionally prompted China to carry restrictions on the import of bananas and pineapples from the Philippines.
China can be in growing its imports of mangoes, coconut and dragon fruits in addition to crabs, shrimps, prawns, tuna and lapu-lapu from the Philippines.
In the sphere of tourism, Sta. Romana stated the Philippines is now heading in the right direction of attaining a million Chinese vacationer arrivals this 12 months whereas China is considering to rent extra Filipino English lecturers.
China has additionally donated hundreds of weapons value US$7.35 million to the Philippines to assist the navy in its battle in opposition to terrorists, together with Islamist gunmen in conflict-torn Marawi City. (Philippine News Agency)