PH, China sign defense cooperation, 13 other deals

CHINESE Prime Minister Li Keqiang's official visit to Manila resulted in the signing of 14 agreements aimed at improving the Philippines and China's capabilities in various fields, including the areas of defense and infrastructure.

Li and President Rodrigo Duterte, who held a bilateral meeting at Malacañang Palace on Wednesday afternoon, witnessed the signing of the 14 agreements.

Both countries exchanged letters on implementing projects that would construct Dangerous Drugs Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers and two bridges across Pasig River.

China and the Philippines also signed memoranda of agreement that would boost cooperation in the fields of defense and intellectual property.

Memoranda of agreement on the cooperation on industrial parks development; the second basket of key infrastructure projects cooperation; the Philippine National Railways Long Haul Project; youth development; and climate change resolutions were likewise inked.

The Bases Conversion and Development Authority and China's Development Bank signed a memorandum of agreement in the presence of Duterte and Li.

Also signed were pacts on economic and technical cooperation; implementation framework for the memorandum of understanding and development cooperation in production capacity and investment; financing cooperation deal on Chico River Pump Irrigation and New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam projects.

Duterte and Li also witnessed the signing of the the Republic of the Philippines 2017 Renminbi Bond Issuance Underwriting Agreement.

In a joint statement, Duterte said Li's visit demonstrates strengthened bilateral relations between China and the Philippines.

"I am pleased to note the positive turnaround and vigorous momentum of Philippines-China relations," the President said.

"Mutual trust and confidence-building have led to increased interaction on many levels of our two governments. Practical cooperation in many areas is bringing in an early harvest of tangible benefits. Altogether, these concerted efforts of the Philippines and China have secured peace, stability, and development in the region," he added. (SunStar Philippines)
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