MANILA — China and the Philippines issued a joint statement in Manila on Nov 16, in which the two sides agreed to advance bilateral relations and press ahead with cooperation in key areas of infrastructure, production capacity, investment, commerce, trade, agriculture, livelihood, culture and people-to-people exchanges.
The joint statement was issued amid Premier Li Keqiang’s official visit to the Philippines at the invitation of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
Both sides recognized that the bilateral relations have achieved positive turnaround and momentum through joint efforts, and agreed to advance relations in a sustained and pragmatic manner on the basis of mutual respect, sincerity, equality, and mutual benefit.
The Philippines reaffirms its adherence to the One-China policy, the statement said.
To further advance ties, both sides agreed to enhance high-level exchanges and dovetail development strategies.
China and the Philippines recognized the potential of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Philippine development plans, and their synergies with the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, according to the statement.
The two countries will jointly formulate and implement a Program on China-Philippines Industrial Park Development.
China reiterates its firm support and assistance to the Philippines’s fight against terrorism and drug-related crimes, and the quick recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of Marawi city, the statement said.
During Premier Li’s visit, a launching ceremony of two river bridges in Manila and two drug rehabilitation centers in Mindanao, South of the Philippines, was held on Nov 15.
The Philippines appreciates the assistance from China in the fight against terrorism in Marawi and in the construction of two drug rehabilitation centers in Mindanao, the statement said.
Both sides also agreed to identify and facilitate the implementation of the second-batch of priority cooperation projects.
According to the statement, China will continue to encourage and support Chinese enterprises to expand investment in the Philippines, import more quality products from the Philippines and upgrade the scale and quality of trade and investment between the two countries.
On the South China Sea issue, the two countries noted that the situation in the South China Sea has become generally more stable as a result of joint cooperative efforts between China, the Philippines, and other ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries.
Both sides agreed to strengthen maritime cooperation in areas such as marine environmental protection, disaster risk reduction, and possible cooperation in marine scientific research, the statement said.
They further agreed to continue to actively advance consultations and negotiations on a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea and ensure the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea in its entirety.
Noting that the Philippines takes the rotating presidency of ASEAN in 2017, China congratulated the Philippines on the success of its chairmanship and its successful hosting of a series of meetings.
Both sides welcomed the signing of various agreements and memorandum of understanding (MoU) on infrastructure projects, bridge construction, bond insurance, drug rehabilitation, climate change, intellectual property protection, industrial capacity cooperation and more, according to the statement.