Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Duterte welcomes Xi in ‘historic’ visit to PH

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 20): Duterte welcomes Xi in ‘historic’ visit to PH

President Rodrigo R. Duterte welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping and his delegation in Malacañang on Tuesday afternoon, the very first state visit to be made by a Chinese president in over a decade.

Duterte and Xi attended the customary welcome ceremony at Kalayaan Grounds, Malacañang at around 4:40 p.m.

Xi arrived at the Palace grounds after attending a wreath-laying ceremony at the Rizal Park, Manila.

During the welcome ceremony, the national anthems of the Philippines and China were played and a 21-gun salute was rendered.

In his welcome remarks, Duterte described Xi’s visit as more than a “reciprocal visit” as it is a “historic occasion.”

“On behalf of the Philippine government and the people of the Philippines, I warmly welcome you President Xi and your delegation,” Duterte said.

“For the Philippines, this is more than a reciprocal visit. It is a historic occasion, the very first state visit to be made by Chinese president in 13 years,” he added.

Duterte said Xi’s visit is a “landmark moment” in the shared history of the Philippines and China and expressed readiness to “write a new chapter of openness and cooperation.”

“I look forward to fruitful discussions today as we review the progress we have made and chart the course towards to further enhance partnership all in the spirit of friendship, mutual understanding and respect for sovereign equality,” Duterte said.

Xi, for his part, thanked Duterte for the “warm hospitality” shown by a welcoming crowd, including students waving flags of both Philippines and China.

He described the relationship between China and the Philippines as a “refreshing breeze” in the northern part of the globe.

“As we speak, it is already winter in the northern part of the globe but here we are enjoying refreshing breeze and exceptional scenes. This is exactly what the China-Philippine relationship is today,” Xi said.

Xi said the China-Philippines relationship is a result of “a thousand year of exchanges, good neighborliness and friendship while noting that cooperation is a “correct choice” they both decided to make.

“We are each other's good friends. Thanks to our joint efforts,” Xi said.

He, meanwhile, expressed readiness to work for future development of their relations from a strategic perspective, deeper friendship, and cooperation.

The two leaders then proceeded to the expanded bilateral meeting at the Malacañang Reception Hall.

In the evening, Duterte will host a state banquet for Xi at the Rizal Hall, Malacañang.

Duterte and Xi have met six times over the past two years since the former took office.


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