Marcos will meet the Chinese Foreign Minister

MANILA, Philippines — Besides the issue of the Western Philippine Sea, President Marcos also intends to discuss issues that can strengthen Philippine-Chinese relations when he meets Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi next time.

During his first press conference held at the Heroes Hall in Malacañang, Marcos confirmed his meeting with Wang. The Chinese official was due to arrive in Manila last night. His visit is until today.

Wang’s July 5-6 visit was at the invitation of Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo.

“Well, that’s the usual order of the day. We will be… Yes, I will meet him and the agenda, I’m sure, will be to strengthen ties between China and the Philippines,” Marcos said.

“And of course to find ways to work to resolve the conflicts that we have. And one of the ways that I’ve always suggested is that we don’t have our relationship just on one dimension, the Western Philippine Sea,” he said.

“It’s basically always trying to find ways to make the relationship better. And we have a lot of proposals for them in the sense that, as I said, we would like us to increase the scope. China and the Philippines should not only talk about the Western Philippine Sea. Let’s do other things too. That way it will normalize our relationship,” he said.

Marcos said he would also discuss cultural and educational exchanges with Wang as well as military cooperation.

“Let’s do cultural exchanges, educational exchanges, even military ones if that can be useful. Of course, G2G (government to government) has always been there, private sector joint ventures have also been there. But I think the more we do, the more it will help solve the problems,” the president said.

He said he would also stress during his meeting with Wang the importance of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in regional geopolitics.

“Because they (ASEAN and APEC) have an interest, they are stakeholders,” he said.

“So I think we can say that we need for those – for them, for ASEAN, especially to be active for their member countries,” Marcos said.

The head of Chinese diplomacy is the first foreign counterpart Manalo has received after taking office on July 1.

The FDFA said Wang and Manalo are expected to have a bilateral meeting to discuss a wide range of issues, including building on the positive trend in the Philippines-China relationship.

Wang is expected to invite President Marcos to discuss key bilateral issues and personally extend an invitation from Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit China.

The last time he visited Manila was on January 15-16, 2021 for an official visit at the invitation of former Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.

Wang’s visit to the Philippines is part of his Southeast Asia tour, which started on Sunday. He is also due to visit Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Meanwhile, the Philippines and China have signed the commercial consultancy services contract for conducting detailed engineering design and supervising the construction of the Davao River Bridge.

The Chinese Embassy in Manila said China Aid’s localized project for the Davao River Bridge (Bucana Bridge), located at the Davao River estuary in Davao City, will be about 1 340 meters.

When completed, it will reduce east-west traffic congestion in the city’s coastal areas and divert approximately 35,000 vehicles each day.

It is estimated that 300 to 500 local people will be employed by the project.

Related video: