Chinese President Xi Jinping holds talks with Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Jan 4, 2023. (YUE YUEWEI / XINHUA)
BEIJING – Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr in Beijing on Wednesday.
Marcos is the first foreign leader hosted by China in 2023. This visit is his first visit to China as president and his first official visit to a country outside the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
"All this speaks volumes about the close ties between China and the Philippines and the important place that our two countries take in each other's foreign policies," Xi told Marcos.
Xi called on both sides to cultivate new highlights of partnership after choosing agriculture, infrastructure, energy and culture as four key areas of cooperation
Xi called on both sides to cultivate new highlights of partnership after choosing agriculture, infrastructure, energy and culture as four key areas of cooperation.
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China is willing to assist the development of agriculture and rural areas in the Philippines and advance infrastructure and connectivity projects with the Philippines, Xi said.
Marcos said he hopes to prove to the world through this visit that Philippines-China relations are in good shape and important, and both sides are committed to upgrading the ties.
China is the most vigorous partner of cooperation for the Philippines and nothing can stop the continuation and development of the friendship between the two countries, Marcos said.
He said the Philippines adheres to the one-China policy.
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Thanking China for its assistance in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, Marcos said he expects more Chinese citizens to travel to the Philippines for tourism and study.
Both sides agreed to handle maritime issues properly through friendly consultation and resume talks for oil and gas exploration.
Meanwhile, China's top legislator Li Zhanshu also met with Marcos in Beijing on Wednesday.
Li, chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, said China has always viewed and developed its relations with the Philippines from a strategic perspective.
China stands ready to work with the Philippines to follow the consensus reached by the two heads of state to carry forward friendship, deepen cooperation, continue to support each other on issues concerning their respective major concerns, draw on each other's strengths, handle differences through friendly consultation, and push for greater development of their relations in the new era, he said.