By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte has embarked on a five-day official visit to China that includes a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping to enhance bilateral relations.
The President departed Manila Wednesday night to visit China upon the invitation of Xi. This is Duterte’s fifth visit to China since he pursued closer economic and security ties with the Asian giant in 2016.
“In Beijing, President Duterte will meet with President Xi Jinping to take stock of developments in bilateral relations and in the region,” the Palace said in a statement.
“The Leaders are expected to exchange views on further deepening and broadening bilateral engagement in areas of interest to both countries, such as defense and security, infrastructure and development cooperation, and energy, in order to strengthen the Philippines’ and China’s Comprehensive Strategic Cooperation,” it added.
The two leaders are expected to witness the signing of several agreements during Duterte’s visit. Duterte and his delegation are also expected to attend a dinner gathering to be hosted by Xi.
The Palace said the President is also scheduled to hold talks with Premier Li Keqiang “to discuss ways of spurring and intensifying Philippines-China economic ties, people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and ASEAN-China cooperation.”
From Beijing, the President will travel to Guangzhou where he will be received by Vice President Wang Qishan and other Chinese leaders. “President Duterte will likewise attend Gilas Pilipinas’ first 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup game at the Foshan International Sports and Cultural Center,” the Palace said.
The President is expected to return to the country on September 1.
Prior to his latest foreign trip, the President went on a burger run with his long-time aide Senator Christopher Go.
The senator shared on Facebook the photos with the President while visiting a burger restaurant. “Time out muna! Gutom kami ni tatay Digong. Burger muna,” he captioned the photos with Duterte early Wednesday morning.