Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) holds talks with his Philippine counterpart Rodrigo Duterte in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 20, 2016. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)
MANILA, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Saturday that his four-day visit to China "signaled a turning point" in diplomatic relations between the two Asian countries.
"My state visit to China signaled a turning point in our shared history and showed that both countries are fully capable of working together for mutual beneficial cooperation even as we remain committed to settle disputes peacefully, in full adherence of international law," Duterte said in a speech in Davao City upon arrival from Beijing.
In his meetings, Duterte said they had "productive and extensive discussions on the full range of Chinese-Philippine relations, from trade and investments, to infrastructure and tourism, and to science and technology and health."
"To realize the vision of a deeper and more meaningful engagement, we have opened formal lines of communications between our government and agreed on the full resumption of the regular bilateral consultations mechanisms which were put on hold for several years," Duterte said.
With security and stability recognized as necessary conditions for growth, Duterte said the Philippines and China affirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea.
"We acknowledged the need to address disputes through peaceful means in accordance with international law," he said.
"We also agreed to continue discussions on confidence-building measures, including a bilateral consultation mechanism to discuss immediate issues of concern in South China Sea," Duterte said.
To maintain stability, Duterte said China and the Philippines concluded an agreement for general cooperation to minimize incidents at sea.
To combat the menace of illegal drugs, he said both countries agreed to continue across a broad range of areas, including in capacity-building, equipment upgrading and support for rehabilitation purposes.
"With the shared objective of achieving greater growth and prosperity for our peoples, the Philippines and China jointly worked closely on building a robust economic agenda," Duterte said.
Duterte reported that the Philippines signed a number of agreements. "Mostly economic in nature, these agreements provide the framework with which to carry out intensified cooperation between the Philippines and China," he said.
He added that in his numerous meetings with officials and businessmen "there was a renewed and heightened sense of optimism in trade relations."
"The friendship rekindled opened up deeper commitments to significantly enhance trade and investments," he said.
He also announced that his talks with Chinese leaders and business leaders resulted in public financing agreements and private business deals valued at billions of U.S. dollars in soft loans.
"These agreements, covering various fields of economic activities, are expected to generate 2 million jobs for the Filipinos in the next five years," he said.
He vowed to continue "to work very hard to ensure that these agreements bear concrete results that will better the lives of our people."