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Experts say Duterte’s visit puts China-PH ties back on track

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By Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping, right shows the way to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during a welcome ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan | Manila Bulletin)

MB FILE – Chinese President Xi Jinping, right shows the way to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during a welcome ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan | Manila Bulletin)

MANILA—President Rodrigo Duterte has put the traditional Sino-Philippine relations back on track, laying the foundation that would normalize their once frosty relationship, political analysts said on Wednesday.

Ramon Casiple, executive director of Institute of Political and Electoral Reforms, said Duterte achieved the main objective of his China trip to normalize bilateral relations after the freeze during the administration of former President Benigno Aquino.

Casiple told Xinhua that Duterte’s four-day visit to China late week reopened the economic relations again in terms of granting loans, aids and investments especially in infrastructure development.

It was a “win-win case” for both Beijing and Manila, Casiple said.

Benito Lim, a retired political science professor, said the Philippines got huge pledges after Duterte’s visit.

Lim said China also promised to buy goods from the Philippines.

“We hope that this is the beginning of the good relationship even if we don’t know yet what would be the basis of good relationship. But this time China said that there will be economic exchanges,” he said.

Aileen Baviera, professor at the University of the Philippines, said in an interview with local news website Rappler that Duterte’s visit “was generally successful.”

“I guess given the background of our relationship with China prior to the visit most of it was quite expected. It wasn’t just an ice-breaking mission. It was intended to put relations back on track and to maybe shift the emphasis of our ties with China form the political security issues that have plagued the relations in the past to economic relations,” Baviera said.

She added, “So many agreements that were signed, the achievements of the visit so to speak had to do with the economic of it.”

Philippine Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade called on the media to highlight the good news that came out of Duterte’s state visit to China instead of focusing on Duterte’s statement on Philippine relations with the United States.

“(We) should highlight the good news—2 million in potential employment, our agricultural products can again enter China, the (potential) 1 million tourists, their planned additional flights to Clark and Davao,” said Tugade, who accompanied Duterte to Beijing last week.

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