CHINESE President Xi Jinping yesterday arrived for a state visit which he said he is convinced “will cement the traditional friendship, deepen the mutually beneficial cooperation and enhance the effort of the two sides for common development.”
In an arrival statement, President Xi, who was met upon disembarkation by government officials including airport general manager Ed Monreal, assured Filipinos that China stands ready to work with the Philippines for even greater progress in the two countries’ relations.
He said that since President Duterte took office, he is thankful for the joint efforts of both sides, saying he and Duterte we “have reopened the door of friendship and cooperation to each other bringing real benefits to our people and making an important contribution to regional peace, stability and prosperity.”
“It gives me great pleasure to pay a state visit to the beautiful Republic of the Philippines at the kind invitation of President Rodrigo Duterte. I wish to express on behalf of the Chinese government and people cordial greetings and best wishes to the government and hospitable and friendly people of the Philippines,” his statement read.
As friendly neighbors across the sea, he said, China and the Philippines enjoy geographical proximity and a strong bond that has linked their peoples and culture for centuries and that “our two countries have stood together through thick and thin and written splendid chapters of friendly exchanges.”
He added: “Given the profound and complex changes in the world, good-neighborliness and friendship is the only right choice for China and the Philippines, two developing countries and emerging economies in Asia, and our peoples have higher expectations for stronger ties and cooperation across the board between our two sides.”
Apart from meeting with President Duterte for an in-depth exchange of views on how to further strengthen China-Philippine relations and on regional and international issues of mutual interest, President Xi said he is also looking forward to meet with House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Senate President Vicente C Sotto III.
“I am convinced that this visit will cement the traditional friendship, deepen the mutually beneficial cooperation and enhance the effort of the two sides for common development. It will surely inject fresh, strong impetus into the good-neighborly relations and friendship between our two countries for the benefit of our peoples,” he said.