Premier Li arrives in Philippines for East Asia leaders' meetings, official visit

Lester Mason
November 13, 2017

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and his wife Honeylet Avancena on Monday welcomed the world leaders at the opening ceremony of 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Manila.

Upon arrival, Li noted that in a world context characterized by weak economic recovery, East Asia has maintained regional trade and development, becoming a stabilizing force in a complex and changing worldwide scenario. The visit is expected to deepen China's friendly cooperation with the Philippines, promote China-ASEAN ties and enhance regional cooperation in East Asia, Chinese authorities said ahead of the visit.

Developing ties with ASEAN is a priority of China's peripheral diplomacy and the regional bloc too considers China a reliable partner.

The Russian-ASEAN trade turnover reached $13.6 billion in 2016.

He also expressed confidence that the meeting will "pave the way to even greater ASEAN-China cooperation".

Li will also propose almost 30 new initiatives to deepen practical cooperation on interconnectivity, food security, poverty reduction, tourism and anti-corruption, Chen added.


"While the situation is calmer now, we can not take the current progress for granted", said the draft ASEAN Common Statement on ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations for the 20th ASEAN-China Summit on Monday. Leaders from the 10 ASEAN member nations and dialogue partners, including Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea and the United States, are attending the event.

Given the setback to negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other regional free trade deals, more and more countries are looking at the RCEP, Zhai Kun, a professor of worldwide relations with Peking University, said.

In Manila, Li will brief the other leaders on the spirit of the 19th CPC National Congress as well as China's stance and policy on cooperation in East Asia, said Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong in a press briefing earlier this week.

The Philippines and China, as well as other claimant countries, remain embroiled in a decades-long dispute over the South China Sea.

He underlined that the association is in a new starting point of development and that Beijing will work with all parties to build stronger community of shared future.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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