Beijing, 18 July 2023 (TDI): In a significant diplomatic encounter, China’s President Xi Jinping welcomed former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Beijing on July 17.

The two leaders engaged in constructive discussions on strengthening bilateral relations between the two nations.

President Xi Jinping praised Duterte for his strategic decision during his presidency, which significantly improved relations between the Philippines and China.

Acknowledging the value of the Philippines as a partner, Xi emphasized China’s commitment to nurturing and promoting steady, long-term growth in bilateral ties.

President Xi expressed his hope that Rodrigo Duterte would continue to play a pivotal role in fostering friendship and cooperation between China and the Philippines, highlighting the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit, and inclusiveness in dealing with neighboring countries.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry quoted President Xi Jinping as saying, “We value our relationship with the Philippines and are eager to collaborate in achieving mutually beneficial outcomes.”

During Duterte’s tenure from 2016 to 2022, remarkable progress was witnessed in Manila’s relations with Beijing. This marked an era of increased cooperation and mutual understanding between the two nations.

Philippines-US relations

The meeting between Xi and Duterte comes at a crucial juncture, as the Philippines, under President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., has recently pursued closer ties with the United States, China’s arch-rival in the region.

Despite the evolving dynamics in the geopolitical landscape, both leaders expressed their commitment to promoting peace, stability, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Furthermore, in a demonstration of goodwill, Manila recently granted approval to the United States to expand its military presence in the archipelago nation.

President Xi Jinping, in response to this development, reiterated China’s commitment to peaceful coexistence and the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.

As President Duterte and President Marcos Jr. steer the Philippines towards a new chapter in international relations, President Xi Jinping’s meeting with the former Filipino leader signifies the importance China places on maintaining amicable relations and fostering cooperation with its neighbors.

The meeting between President Xi Jinping and former President Rodrigo Duterte was a testament to the commitment of both nations to elevating their bilateral ties.