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Rody to finalize deals with China

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Duterte is set to go back to China soon to finalize funding deals struck during his state visit to Beijing last October, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said.

Duterte’s China visit last year yielded at least $24 billion worth of funding deals, and Dominguez told The STAR that most of these fall under the One Belt One Road (OBOR) program initiated by China’s President Xi Jinping.

In a statement issued after Duterte met China’s Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin in Manila on Tuesday, the Chinese foreign ministry reported Duterte said he was pleased with how ties had developed since he came to China last year.

“I will come to Beijing in May to attend the ‘One Belt, One Road’ international cooperation summit forum, and I look forward to meeting President Xi Jinping again,” the ministry paraphrased Duterte as saying, without elaborating.

But the Department of Foreign Affairs said it could not immediately confirm the comments were made, as no ministry officials were present at the meeting.

Seen as part of China’s efforts for a bigger global role, OBOR is a development strategy and framework that focuses on connectivity and cooperation among countries, primarily between China and the rest of Eurasia. 

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The network system, which includes the Philippines, has two main components, the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt and the ocean-going Maritime Silk Road.

The OBOR initiative was  based upon resurrecting the old Silk Road that once connected China with Central Asia, Europe and beyond.

OBOR was unveiled around the fourth quarter of 2013 and was promoted by Premier Li Keqiang in his state visits to Asia and Europe.

Expected to attract investments worth $4-8 trillion, the network covers about 60 countries, primarily in Asia and Europe. Oceania and East Africa are also included.

Dominguez said the $24-billion funding deals obtained in Duterte’s China state visit last year included $9 billion in soft loans, of which $3 billion were with the Bank of China. The rest, amounting to $15 billion, were investment deals.



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