By Roy Mabasa
The Philippines is “pleased” with the outcome of the bilateral meeting between visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Philippine senior officials led by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. in Davao City on Monday.
“We are pleased with the results of our meeting and we look forward to the continued development of our bilateral relations to the mutual benefit of our two great peoples,” Locsin told reporters during a joint press briefing with the visiting Chinese official at the end of their meetings at the Marco Polo Hotel in Davao.
After their meeting, both Wang and Locsin witnessed the signing of agreements, namely the Exchange of Letters on the Feasibility Study of the Davao River Bridge Project (Bucana); the Handover Certificate of Law Enforcement-Related Materials/Equipment; and the Handover Certificate of Emergency Humanitarian Assistance.
Wang arrived in Davao City on Sunday for a two-day official visit.
On the talks concerning maritime cooperation in the volatile South China Sea, Locsin said the discussion is moving in a “positive direction.”
“While recognizing our differences and never compromising our respective core interests, we continue to discuss and explore avenues for maritime cooperation,” he said.
The Philippines, he said, “hold fast to our unwavering commitment to the Declaration of Conduct in the South China Sea.”
“Through respectful dialogue with each other and with our partners in ASEAN, we are moving forward with astonishing amity in the negotiations toward a Code of Conduct,” he added.
The two sides also discussed the forthcoming state visit of Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
Locsin pointed out that the meeting between Presidents Duterte and Xi will provide further direction to the intensifying cooperation between the two countries.
President Xi’s forthcoming visit to the Philippines will be the eighth of a Chinese leader since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1975.