Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's remarks on Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's upcoming visit to China

Q: We have noted China's newly released announcement about Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's upcoming visit to China. Who will meet and hold talks with him during the visit? What will be discussed? What is China's expectation for the visit? What cooperation deals are going to be signed by the two sides?

A: As was announced by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, at the invitation of President Xi Jinping, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Republic of the Philippines will pay a state visit to China from October 18 to 21.

During his visit, President Xi Jinping will hold talks with him for discussion on bilateral relations, cooperation across the board, as well as international and regional issues of common interest. Premier Li Keqiang and Chairman Zhang Dejiang will meet with him on separate occasions.

The Chinese side hopes that the visit by President Duterte will help increase political mutual trust, strengthen pragmatic cooperation, extend traditional friendship, properly address differences through dialogue and replace the strategic cooperative relations for peace and development on the track of sound and steady growth.

The two sides are communicating with each other about the agenda and outcome documents of the visit.

Last but not least, I want to stress that China and the Philippines are neighbors of traditional friendship. People of the two countries have been friends with each other since ancient times. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties, bilateral relations have been developing smoothly, making constant progress in cooperation in political, economic, cultural and other aspects, and delivering tangible benefits to the two countries and two peoples. Amity between the two countries is not only what the people aspire for but also where the development trend of the two countries and the region leads. The Chinese side attaches importance to developing relations with the Philippines and stands ready to work with them to advance the bilateral relations in a sound and steady manner and create more benefits for both the two countries and peoples.

Q: During Philippine President Duterte's visit to China, will the two sides talk about the issue of the South China Sea? What position does China expect the Philippine side to hold on this issue?

A: China's position on the issue of the South China Sea is consistent and clear. We are willing to peacefully address relevant disputes with countries concerned including the Philippines through consultation and negotiation, explore possible ways for pragmatic cooperation with them in the South China Sea and turn it into the sea of peace, friendship and cooperation.

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