PH-China sign six bilateral agreements

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 11) — The bilateral talks between the Philippines and China on Tuesday resulted in six new agreements, including the hiring of Filipino English teachers in China and a proposed Davao City expressway.

On the sidelines of the Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan on Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his happiness with the "higher level of friendship" between the two countries.

"One of the things that we would like to assure you is that we would like the fullest cooperation between our two countries regarding transnational crimes and address terrorism," he said, addressing Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Among the deals signed were:

  • Agreement on the Economic and Technical Cooperation between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the People's Republic of China
  • Exchange of Letters on the Phase III of the Technical Cooperation Project for the Filipino-Sino Center for Agricultural Technology
  • Exchange of Letters for the Pre-Feasibility Study of the Proposed Davao City Expressway Project
  • Exchange Letter for Broadcasting Equipment to the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) of the Philippines
  • Memorandum of Understanding on the Employment of Filipino Teachers of English Language in China; and the
  • Preferential Buyer's Credit Loan Agreement on the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project

Duterte also thanked China for extending assistance to combat terrorism in the Philippines.

The President said China and the Philippines can "do more to boost military and defense cooperation" under the framework of the 2004 Memorandum of Understanding on Defense Cooperation.

In June 2017, at the height of the Marawi siege, China donated thousands of weapons worth some 50 million yuan ($7.35 million) to help fight the Maute terrorists. Duterte said the move "highlights the dawn of a new era in Philippine-Chinese relations."

READ: Duterte thanks China for firearms, ammo vs Mautes

Duterte's presidency saw warmer relations with the eastern giant, despite tensions arising from an unsettled maritime dispute over islands in the South China Sea.

He expressed his interest in resolving the sea row through bilateral talks in November 2017, a shift from his initial position to conduct multilateral discussions.