PHL, China sign 13 bilateral agreements

MANILA – The Philippines and China on Thursday signed 13 bilateral cooperation agreements ranging from areas of production capacity to infrastructure, to agriculture and to maritime cooperation.

The memorandum of understandings (MOU) were signed after the bilateral meetings of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and China President Xi Jinping in Beijing.

The MOU on the Establishment of a Joint Coastal Guard Committee on Maritime Cooperation topped the agreements signed by Filipino and Chinese officials.

The signing of cooperation agreement between coast guards of the two countries means that the two countries will start cooperation on maritime affairs,” Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said in a press conference.

Other cooperation agreements are on Production Capacity and Investment Cooperation; Economic and Technological Cooperation between the Government of China and the Philippines; Strengthening Trade, Investment and Economic Cooperation, Drafting China-Philippines Economic Cooperation Development Plans and the Tourism; Implementation Plan 2017-2022;

MOU on the Lists of Transportation and Infrastructure Cooperation Projects; Financing Cooperation between the China’s EXIMBANK (Export-Import Bank of China) and the Department of the Treasury of the Philippines; Agricultural Cooperation Action Plan 2017-2019; Protocol on Cooperation between PDEA of the Philippines and the Narcotics Control Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security of China.

The delegates from two countries also signed MOU on Supporting Conduct of Feasibility Studies for Major Projects; on News Information Exchange Training and for Other Purposes; and, on Cooperation on Animal and Plant Inspection and Quarantine.

”The two Presidents also talked about increasing people-to-people ties between the two countries through efforts to enhance exchanges in education between tourists, sending students to each other, and establishing cultural centers in each other’s country. The cultural exchanges will start very soon. The two Presidents also talked about cooperation in regional and international affairs,” the Chinese foreign official said.

Liu described as historic President Duterte’s historic four-day state visit in China, saying it brought the China-Philippine relations back to the track of friendship.

The Chinese official said the meetings between the two heads of state have great significance in the four areas.

”First, the visit signifies the full recovery of China, the Philippines friendship back to the normal level; and, second, it marks the new stage of the practical cooperation between the two countries that it means that a new page is now open between the two countries in addressing the South China Sea issue through bilateral consultations. And fourthly it means a full recovery of the traditional friendship between China and the Philippines,” he said.

President Duterte was accompanied by big delegation of over 300 companies from the Philippines. Jelly Musico/