Duterte to skip visit to Fujian Province as China trip cut short

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 23) — President Rodrigo Duterte’s trip to China has been cut short.

His visit was initially scheduled from August 28 to September 3. Now he is set to come home two days earlier.

The Department of Foreign Affairs on Friday said initial plans for the President to visit Fujian Province has been postponed to a “more appropriate time.” Malacañang’s chief of protocol Robert Borje said this primarily due to logistical issues.

Presidential spokesperson Sal Panelo said the construction of the school may possibly not be done yet. 

Duterte earlier announced he will visit Fujian to attend the inauguration of a school named after his mother, Soledad.

The President will arrive in Beijing on August 28.

He will have a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping the next day, where he promised to bring up the arbitral award which largely favored Manila over Beijing. DFA also said Duterte and Xi are set to sign agreements covering education, science and technology, economic and social development.

“Both leaders will also witness the signing of a number of cooperative bilateral documents and memorandum of understanding which are all aimed to further increase the breadth and depth of our cooperation between the Philippines and China," Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Meynardo Montealegre said in a media briefing. 

His itinerary also includes a courtesy call by Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan and a business forum.

Duterte will also cheer for Gilas Pilipinas who will go against Italy in the FIBA World Cup set in Guangzhou province on August 31. He will be accompanied by Wang to watch the game.