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Premier Li’s visit to the Philippines to promote China-ASEAN ties

Updated: Nov 7,2017 9:06 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to the Philippines from Nov 12 to 16, his first overseas trip since the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, will deepen friendly cooperation with the Philippines, promote China-ASEAN ties and enhance regional cooperation in East Asia, senior officials said on Nov 6.

Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong told a press briefing that at the invitation of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Premier Li was scheduled to attend the 20th China-ASEAN (10+1) leaders’ meeting, the 20th ASEAN-China, Japan and Republic of Korea (10+3) leaders’ meeting and the 12th East Asia Summit. After these meetings, Premier Li will visit the Philippines, which assumes the ASEAN presidency this year.

Meanwhile, Premier Li will also attend the leaders’ meeting on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Chen said.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of ASEAN and the 20th anniversary of 10+3 cooperation, and next year marks the 15th anniversary of the China-ASEAN strategic partnership, Chen said, adding that the cooperation in East Asia would embrace new opportunities.

He said China expected the meetings to “focus on dialogue and cooperation, expand consensus, pursue common development of mutual benefit, work jointly to address challenges in order to further push forward cooperation on economic development, culture and nontraditional security.”

Chen said that Premier Li would also brief on China’s policy on cooperation in East Asia, and propose nearly 30 new initiatives to deepen practical cooperation on interconnectivity, food security, poverty reduction, tourism and anti-corruption.

Vice-Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen said, “China stands ready to work with ASEAN to build an international trade and investment system that is fair, reasonable and transparent and promote the economic globalization featuring openness, inclusiveness, shared benefits, balance and win-win results.”

Chen said the Philippines was China’s friendly neighbor and important partner, adding that since last year, bilateral relations had witnessed positive progress.

It is also the first visit to the Philippines made by a Chinese premier in 10 years, he said, adding that the tour was expected to “advance bilateral ties in new era and promote the building of a new type of international relations as well as a community with a shared future for mankind.”

During his stay, the Premier will hold talks with Duterte, and the leaders will exchange views on regional and international issues of common concern, Chen said.

Wang said China and the Philippines had “achieved fruitful results in cooperation on trade, investment, development aid, major infrastructure projects, and people-to-people exchanges.”

The two countries were expected to exchange views and sign cooperation documents on infrastructure, industrial zones and aid to the Philippines, to further promote bilateral comprehensive cooperation, he said.

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