President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan pose for a photograph with Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr and his wife Liza Araneta Marcos in Beijing on Wednesday. Marcos is on a state visit to China. (FENG YONGBIN/CHINA DAILY)
Countries to boost cooperation on regional interests
China and the Philippines have agreed to expand their contributions to regional peace and stability and bring more benefits to the people of both countries.
The two nations also vowed to strengthen pragmatic cooperation in agriculture, infrastructure, energy and people-to-people exchanges when President Xi Jinping and Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr held talks in Beijing on Wednesday.
Xi said both sides had agreed to restart consultation on oil and gas exploration and had pledged to properly deal with maritime issues through friendly talks.
Marcos was on a state visit to China, the first non-ASEAN country Marcos has visited as president. During their talks, Xi said that Marcos is the first foreign leader China has hosted this year, which speaks volumes for close bilateral relations. Before the talks, Xi held a grand welcoming ceremony for Marcos in the Great Hall of the People.
Xi hailed the historic decision made by Marcos' father and Chinese leaders 48 years ago to establish bilateral diplomatic relations. He also commended the Marcos family for remaining committed to promoting bilateral friendship, despite changes in the international landscape and the Philippines' domestic political situation.
Beijing has always made Manila a priority in its regional diplomacy and views bilateral ties from a strategic and overall perspective, he said.
Xi said he is willing to maintain frequent strategic dialogue with Marcos to plan future steps for bilateral relations and make the two nations good neighbors, relatives and partners that understand and help each other and work together for win-win outcomes.
Xi called on the two countries to further align development strategies, help each other's modernization process and contribute to each country's development and prosperity.
China, in its push toward rural vitalization and for a stronger agricultural sector, is willing to help with the agricultural and rural development of the Philippines and cooperate in the development of seeding, production, processing and storage, Xi said.
He called for steps toward cooperation on infrastructure and connectivity, saying that collaboration on key infrastructure projects must be implemented.
The two sides should also expand cooperation on telecommunications, big data and e-commerce, and work closely in the green energy sector, including photovoltaics, wind power and electric vehicles, he said.
China stands ready to expand imports of high-quality agricultural and fishery products from the Philippines and support more investment by Chinese companies in the Southeast Asian country, he said.
Xi highlighted the need to enhance people-to-people exchanges and cooperation on basic and vocational education, saying that both sides should explore opportunities to work together in meteorology and aerospace.
He reaffirmed China's readiness to focus on cooperation and development with the Philippines and other member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and ensure the central role of the group in regional cooperation.
It is important for the region to get rid of the shadows of the Cold War, stay away from bloc confrontation and maintain its edge in development and prosperity, Xi said.
The two nations should beef up support for each other, uphold their common interests and those of developing nations, amplify the common values of humanity, and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, he said.
Marcos told Xi that he was honored to have been a witness to the establishment of bilateral ties between the two countries 48 years ago. "It has now become my responsibility, and certainly my privilege, to be able to continue that legacy, to continue to promote the friendship between the Philippines and China to continue to bring our peoples closer together," he said.
He said he was ready to continue to improve bilateral relations and deepen cooperation in sectors such as agriculture, infrastructure, energy, people-to-people exchanges, trade, investment and the digital economy.
China is the Philippines' most robust cooperation partner and nothing can stand in the way of continuing and growing bilateral friendship, he said.
Manila is looking for a proper settlement to maritime issues and is willing to restart talks over oil and gas development with Beijing, he said. The Philippine leader said he looks forward to more Chinese tourists and students visiting his nation in the post-pandemic era.
Marcos also met with Premier Li Keqiang and Li Zhanshu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the nation's top legislature, on Wednesday.