Roxas names as special envoy to 9th China-Asean Expo-A A +A
Thursday, September 20, 2012
MANILA -- President Benigno Aquino III has designated Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II as his special envoy to 9th China-Asean Expo (Caexpo), which will be held from September 21 to 25 in Nanning, China.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario recommended Roxas following the request of the Chinese government for the Philippines to send a high-level delegation to the expo.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, who was also recommended by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to join the delegation, said Roxas's trip to China aims to set a meeting with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping who is also attending the event.
Roxas, the newly designated head of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), confirmed that he is flying to China Thursday night to attend the Caexpo.
The Philippines is looking forward to hold a meeting with China after President Benigno Aquino III and Chinese President Hu Jintao failed to meet during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Leaders Summit last September 8.
"The President was not able to meet with President Hu Jintao. And so the President has given his approval to Secretary Mar Roxas to relay to the Vice President what President Aquino wanted to relay to President Hu Jintao,” Lacierda said.
The DFA said it is making arrangements for Secretary Roxas and the Philippine delegation to meet with high-level Chinese officials.
The President of Myanmar, Prime Ministers of Laos and Vietnam, and the Deputy Prime Ministers of Malaysia and Thailand are expected to attend the Caexpo.
Caexpo, co-sponsored by China and Asean, is an international event held annually since 2004 with the objective of promoting the China-Asean Free Trade Area (Cafta). The Caexpo is an excellent platform for cooperation in the fields of infrastructure investment, trade, and tourism, among others.
Malacañang, meanwhile, clarified that the designation of Roxas is not an offshoot of fuss on Senator Antonio Trillanes IV's supposed designation as backroom negotiator for the Philippines to resolve lingering spat with China over the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea.
Lacierda refused to comment on the revelations made by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile during a verbal clash with Trillanes on Wednesday.
Lacierda said the President would want to solve the issue privately and talk to Trillanes and del Rosario first.
"The reason why the President is silent is because he would like to speak to both del Rosario and Trillanes because he think that is the most decent thing to do," the spokesperson said. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)