Important decisions on CPEC, trade expected during PM’s visit to China

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During the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in China, Duterte thanked countries that helped the Philippines in times of calamities and called for a more "proactive measures" on climate change. Important decisions are likely to be taken on strategic ties, trade and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) during the visit.

This is the second visit of the prime minister to China as he had earlier paid a state visit to the neighboring country in November a year ago.

Beijing has repeatedly said it is not seeking to trap countries that sign up to BRI with debt, and will use this week's summit in Beijing to address those concerns and recalibrate the policy.

"The President's fourth visit to our Giant Neighbor in the North yielded positive results that will impact on the lives of many of our people leading to his goal of delivering a comfortable, secure and prosperous life for all Filipinos", Panelo said.

THE Philippines and China signed agreements Thursday on identifying priority investments and the rehabilitation of drug abusers, the President's spokesperson said.

Mr Khan expressed gratitude to China for its strong and unequivocal support for Pakistan's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and reiterated that Pakistan too would continue to stand by China on all issues of its core interest.

He said Pakistan was looking forward to the project, known as CPEC, moving into its next phase focusing on "social uplift", poverty alleviation, agriculture and industry, including the opening of special economic zones.

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The prime minister is visiting China from April 25 to 28, to attend the forum to be inaugurated by President Xi Jinping on April 26 in Beijing.

At the forum, Duterte met with other ASEAN leaders such as Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-Cha of Thailand, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar, Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia, and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phoc of Viet Nam. He will speak in the first session of the leaders' meeting.

He said there was a "very frank but constructive" discussion between Xi and Duterte, who raised the worldwide arbitral ruling, which the Chinese leader still refused to recognize.

The prime minister will also participate in the Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition along with President Xi and other world leaders.

In addition to attending the forum, the prime minister would also hold bilateral meetings with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.

Beijing is likely to tout the memorandums of understanding it has signed with participating governments, a China expert told The Guardian, as they lend legitimacy to the project and allow Xi Jinping to show Chinese citizens that his policies are fully endorsed by the global community.