Duterte: PH counts on China ‘as friend, partner for peace and development’

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 7) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday lauded the bond the Philippines and China have developed through the years, while underscoring the need for sustained dialogue and engagement to further enhance their partnership.

“We count on China as a friend and partner for peace and development,” Duterte said in his speech during the Communist Party of China and World Political Parties Summit.

“To further build mutual trust and confidence, we must sustain our constructive dialogue and peaceful engagement,” the President stressed, adding that this is crucial as the bilateral connections between the two economies “expand and deepen.”

“We trust in the collective wisdom of the great Chinese nation — that China will use its newfound strength in defense of what is good and just for all humanity,” he also said.

Duterte noted the ties between the Filipinos and Chinese are “deep and enduring” and “will remain so for as long as we continue to value win-win cooperation, amity and mutual respect.”

The chief executive also recognized the achievements of China under the leadership of the CPC, as seen in the rise from poverty of over 800 million Chinese while also driving global growth.

“Indeed, a ‘sleeping dragon’ no more,” he said. “China has realized its dream of progress and prosperity for its people.”

Duterte also thanked the Chinese government for the COVID-19 vaccine donations, which he said helped the Philippines contain the spread of the virus and restart the economy.

The President has maintained a good relationship with the Chinese government amid sovereignty issues over the West Philippine Sea. The Philippine government has filed a number of diplomatic protests over the presence of Chinese vessels within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone.

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Duterte has also thanked China a few times for its vaccine donations, saying the Philippines owes Beijing a huge debt of gratitude. However, he stressed that he cannot compromise on matters like those related to sovereign rights.