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Panelo: Duterte to invite Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit his Davao home

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 11/8/2018 Jimenez, Raffy
a person wearing a suit and tie: President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands at the start of a bilateral meeting on the heels of a successful Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, China on Monday, May 15, 2017. PPD President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands at the start of a bilateral meeting on the heels of a successful Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, China on Monday, May 15, 2017. PPD

President Rodrigo Duterte will invite Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to his Davao City home when the latter visits the Philippines later this month, his spokesperson said Thursday.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte disclosed this to Chinese reporters on Wednesday night when asked if he will extend an invitation to Xi.

“Tinanong siya nung reporter sabi niya ‘will you also bring him to your house?’ Sabi niya ‘if they want,’” Panelo said in a chance interview.

Duterte had previously welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to his home inside a low-cost private subdivision in Matina District.

Abe visited Duterte’s house on January 13, 2017 where the President showed the Japanese leader his bedroom, including his mosquito net.

During the 45 minutes that Abe was in Duterte's house, 10 minutes were spent touring the President's bedroom. Only two other people accompanied Duterte and Abe.

The Palace said Abe was served biko, suman, kutsinta, mongo soup, fruits and drinks during the visit.

Xi will be in Manila after the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Papua New Guinea, reciprocating a state visit made by Duterte in Beijing in October 2016 when the Filipino leader heralded a “springtime” in diplomatic relations that have been strained by the maritime row in the disputed South China Sea.

Duterte has chosen to seek stronger economic and trade ties with China, the world’s second biggest economy, instead of flaunting Manila’s victory over Beijing in the United Nations-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration in July 2016 which declared as illegal China’s claim over nearly the entire South China Sea.

The President, however, promised to raise the ruling with China during his term which ends in June 2022.

The Philippines is expected to sign at least five agreements with China during Xi’s visit, according to the Department of Finance.

The agreements cover loan and guarantee accords, economic and technical cooperation, support for the feasibility studies on the Philippines’ infrastructure projects, and promoting cooperation on key projects in Mindanao under the ambitious “Build, Build, Build” program.

The exploration deal on the disputed areas in the South China Sea, however, will not be signed during the visit, according to the Department of Energy.  — RSJ, GMA News

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