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FULL TEXT: Joint statement of the Philippines and China

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, center, escorted by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, reviews troops during a welcome ceremony at Malacanang Palace grounds in Manila, Philippines, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. Li is on an official visit to the country. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — The Republic of the Philippines and the People's Republic of China issued a joint statement following the official visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to Manila.

Li held a bilateral meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte and met with Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.

A total of 14 cooperation documents were signed during the meeting of Duterte and Li.

Read the joint statement below.

1. Upon the invitation of H.E. Rodrigo Roa Duterte, President of the Republic of the Philippines, H.E. Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, paid an Official Visit to the Philippines from 15 to 16 November 2017.

During the visit, Premier Li Keqiang held a bilateral meeting with President Duterte, and had meetings respectively with the Honorable Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III and the Honorable House Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez. The leaders exchanged views on Philippines-China relations as well as regional and international issues.

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2. Both sides recognize that the bilateral relations have achieved positive turnaround and momentum through the joint efforts of both sides. Mutual trust has been increasingly deepened, practical cooperation resulted in meaningful gains, and maritime dialogue and cooperation has progressed. This brought forth tangible benefits for both sides and made significant contributions to peace, stability, and development in the region.

3. Both sides agree to advance Philippines-China relations in a sustained and pragmatic manner on the basis of mutual respect, sincerity, equality, and mutual benefit.

4. Both sides agree to enhance high-level exchanges. The two leaders will maintain close communication through bilateral visits, phone calls, letters, and meetings on the sidelines of multilateral occasions, so as to further deepen the growth of bilateral relations. The Philippines reaffirms its adherence to the One-China policy.

5. Both sides recognize the potential of the Philippine development plans and the Belt and Road Initiative, and their synergies with the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity.

6. Both sides agree to implement the Six-Year Development Program for Trade and Economic Cooperation (2017-2022), press ahead with cooperation in key areas of infrastructure, production capacity, investment, commerce, trade, agriculture, livelihood, culture and people-to-people exchange, and jointly formulate and implement a Program on Philippines-China Industrial Park Development.

7. Both sides agree to enhance cooperation in defense and law enforcement. The Philippines appreciates the assistance from China in the fight against terrorism in Marawi and in the construction of two drug rehabilitation centers in Mindanao. China reiterates its firm support and assistance to the Philippines’ fight against
terrorism and drug-related crimes, and the quick recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of Marawi City.

8. Both sides agree to speed up procedures to facilitate the implementation of projects such as the New Centennial Water Source – Kaliwa Dam Project, Chico River Pump Irrigation Project, the Philippine National Railways South Long Haul Project and the construction of the Binondo-Intramuros and Estrella-Pantaleon Bridges, in accordance with the related exchange of letters and agreements signed during the visit. Both sides agree to identify and facilitate the implementation of the second batch of priority cooperation projects. Both sides agree that infrastructure projects jointly undertaken will be subject to proper procurement process, transparency, and in compliance with relevant domestic laws and regulations, and international practices and standards.

9. Both sides acknowledge the potential cooperation in the areas of commerce, trade, investment, shipping, customs, trade facilitation, and quality inspection. China will continue to encourage and support Chinese enterprises to expand investment in the Philippines, import more quality products from the Philippines and upgrade the scale and quality of trade and investment between the two countries. Both sides will continue to provide an enabling environment for their enterprises to invest in each other’s country.

10. Both sides agree to strengthen cooperation on agriculture and fisheries. China is willing to support the Philippines to develop science and technology-driven agriculture, improve rice production capacity, and offer funding and technical support to the agriculture and fisheries industry of the Philippines.

11. Both sides agree to strengthen people-to-people cooperation in areas such as in education, culture, health, tourism, and sports. Both sides agree to strengthen
cooperation in tourism infrastructure development. Both sides are encouraged by the opening of new direct flights between secondary cities, and agree to support
more direct flights in order to increase two-way tourism.

12. The Philippines welcomes the establishment of a Chinese Consulate-General in Davao City. Proper arrangements for the diplomatic premises in both countries will be made in the spirit of the 1975 Joint Communiqué, on the basis of international practice and reciprocity, with priority for the most immediate concerns.

13. Both sides note that the situation in the South China Sea has become generally more stable as a result of joint cooperative efforts between the Philippines, China, and other ASEAN Member States. Both sides welcome the implementation of the consensus between President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and President Xi Jinping to establish a Bilateral Consultation Mechanism on the South China Sea as a way to manage and prevent incidents at sea, enhance maritime dialogue and cooperation, and pursue a stable growth of bilateral relations. Both sides agree to strengthen maritime cooperation in areas such as marine environmental protection, disaster risk reduction, including possible cooperation in marine scientific research, subject to further consultations.

14. Both sides may explore means to cooperate with each other in other possible maritime activities including maritime oil and gas exploration and exploitation, in
accordance with the respective national laws and regulations of the two countries and international law including the 1982 UNCLOS, and without prejudice to the
respective positions of the two countries on sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction. Both sides further agree to continue to actively advance consultations
and negotiations on a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea and ensure the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in
the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety.

15. Both sides affirm that contentious maritime issues are not the sum total of the Philippines-China bilateral relationship. Both sides also reaffirm the importance of
maintaining and promoting regional peace and stability, freedom of navigation in and over-flight above the South China Sea as well as freedom of commerce and
other peaceful uses, addressing their territorial and jurisdictional disputes by peaceful means, without resorting to the threat or use of force, through friendly
consultations and negotiations by sovereign states directly concerned, in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law, including the
Charter of the United Nations and the 1982 UNCLOS. Both sides agree to continue discussions on confidence-building measures to increase mutual trust and
confidence and to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities in the South China Sea that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability.

16. Both sides reaffirm their cooperation in regional and multilateral organizations, and agree to strengthen coordination and cooperation under various multilateral
frameworks such as the United Nations (UN), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Asia-Europe Meeting
(ASEM), among others, and stay in close communication and support each other on major issues of shared concern.

17. China congratulates the Philippines on the success of its chairmanship of ASEAN 2017 and its successful hosting of the ASEAN, ASEAN-China, ASEAN Plus Three,
and East Asia Summits. China expresses appreciation for the active and significant role played by the Philippines in promoting ASEAN-China relations, in particular,
and East Asia cooperation. The Philippines appreciates China’s support and assistance to the Philippines’ chairmanship of ASEAN and its contribution to
regional and global economic growth.

18. Both sides welcome the signing during the visit of various agreements and memoranda of understanding, as listed in the Annex.

19. Both sides agree that the successful visit of Premier Li Keqiang will contribute to the advancement of friendship between the Philippines and China, as well as the deepening of cooperation between the two countries.

20. On behalf of the Chinese government and people, Premier Li Keqiang appreciates the warm and friendly hospitality accorded by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the Philippine government and people.

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