FOREIGN Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. yesterday said they are still finalizing the date of President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to China which he described as vital.
“Kinoconfirm natin at pinafinalize natin yung exact date but I think it’s necessary. It’s just the timing of the trip that we are considering,” he said during an interview over DZRH.
Chinese officials said they are closely communicating with their Philippine counterparts as Beijing hopes that the planned visit of Duterte to China will be made “as soon as possible.”
“We have expressed our welcome to President Duterte’s visit on many occasions. We hope that he can make this trip as soon as possible,” China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang earlier said.
Geng added that “high-level exchanges between the two countries are of great significance to enhancing mutual understanding, mutual trust and improving ties.”
Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua said the two sides are planning and coordinating for the President’s visit.
“We’re planning and we’re coordinating. There are many details and arrangement that need to be discussed and finalized. It’s premature for me to talk about (them),” Zhao said.
Ever since President Duterte took office he said China and the Philippines have been engaging in friendly interactions, which have yielded a series of positive results.
“The clouds are fading away. The sun is rising over the horizon, and will shine beautifully on the new chapter of bilateral relations,” he added.
The Ambassador believed that the Philippines has no intention of downplaying the July 12 arbitral tribunal ruling by warming its relations with China.
“I don’t think that’s the intention of the FiIipino government. I think warming up relations with China has its own merits,” he said.