China Commits US$3-B to Fund Philippines' Infra Projects During Duterte's State Visit
President Rodrigo Duterte's state visit in China has already achieved a positive result, as the country has committed US$3 billion to fund the Philippines' infrastructure projects.
The Philippine leader arrived in China on Tuesday as part of his four-day state visit to the Asian giant upon the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
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Duterte said he bears goodwill in his China trip saying he aims to "make friends" and not "make war" with Beijing.
Analysts said Duterte is expected to seek financial support from the Chinese government and the various business groups to prop up its economy during his first official state visit to Beijing.
State-run news agency Global Times said China has already offered the Southeast Asian country US$3 billion to fund its infrastructure projects, which include high-speed rail, roads and electricity grid development.
"Infrastructure serves as the core of the manufacturing industry to boost economic development in the Philippines, while China could provide cost-effective, though not the most advanced technology that Manila can afford," said Zhuang Guotu, a scholar at Xiamen University.
One of Duterte's pet projects, which he hopes to achieve during his six-year term, is the construction of a massive railway system in Mindanao, the southern part of the country.
China Railway Group
China's state-owned infrastructure firm China Railway Group Ltd. has expressed interest in investing in the Philippines' infrastructure projects to the tune of US$3 billion in the coming years.
China Railway's funding commitment is one of the several business deals expected to be signed by both countries in the four-day visit, according to Global Times.
Philippine Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said numerous agreements on the said funding assistance from Chinese banks and private business sector will be inked by the Philippine government and China.
The fund will be provided in the form of investment and soft loan.
President Xi Jinping
Duterte is slated to meet his counterpart, President Xi Jinping, as well as Premier Li Keqiang and other officials, including China's National People's Congress chairperson Zhang Dejiang, China's Foreign Ministry said.
"This is a historic visit, and presents an opportunity for relations between China and the Philippines to restart on a fresh, more positive footing," said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday.
Wang said no "foreign force" can stand in the way of improving Sino-Philippine relations and that China's doors are always open for friendship among Filipinos.