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Duterte to invite China’s Xi in his home in Davao City

Duterte to invite China’s Xi in his home in Davao City

November 08, 2018

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte will invite Chinese President Xi Jinping to his home in Davao City when he visits the Philippines this November, his spokesman revealed on Thursday.

In a chance interview, Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte himself made the confirmation when he was interviewed by a group of Chinese reporters on Wednesday whether he would host Xi in his Davao home.

“Tinanong siya (He was asked), ‘will you also bring them to your house?’ He said yes if they want I will [bring them],” Panelo told reporters.

Xi could be the second head of state to set foot in Duterte’s house after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who toured the Matina home in January 2017.

Duterte openly expressed his fondness for the two Asian leaders, saying he “simply [loves] Xi Jinping,” and calling Abe a “special friend who’s closer than a brother.”

Xi is expected to visit the Philippines at the end of November after the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Papua New Guinea.

Duterte invited Xi to come to the Philippines during the Filipino leader’s state visit to China in October 2016. He reiterated his invitation the following month on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Lima, Peru.

The Philippines’ ties with China have improved under Duterte, who has agreed to hold bilateral talks on the dispute over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), which encompasses an area of about 1.35 million square miles.

The resource-rich area is being claimed in whole by China and in part by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

Critics allege that Duterte has abandoned the Philippines’ maritime interests in exchange for Chinese aid but the President denied this, saying he will not give up a single inch of Philippine territory. CATHERINE S. VALENTE

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Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net


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