|Li Keqiang Meets with Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr.|
On the afternoon of January 4, 2023, Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council met with the visiting Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. at the Great Hall of the People.
Noting that China and the Philippines are close neighbors facing each other across the sea with a long history of friendly exchanges between the two peoples and steady progress in pragmatic cooperation in various fields, Li Keqiang said Mr. President's visit to China at the beginning of the New Year shortly after his inauguration is indicative of a good start to bilateral relations. China attaches great importance to its relations with the Philippines. President Xi Jinping will hold talks with you and it will vigorously promote the all-round development of bilateral relations. China is ready to work with the Philippines to strengthen high-level exchanges, consolidate political mutual trust, and advance pragmatic cooperation in the spirit of mutual respect, equality, and win-win cooperation, so as to maintain regional peace and development and better benefit the two peoples.
Li Keqiang pointed out that cooperation is the mainstream of China-Philippines relations. The two countries have prominent complementary advantages and broad space for cooperation. China is willing to work with the Philippines to better synergize development strategies to promote infrastructure cooperation, continuously deepen economic and trade cooperation, boost bilateral trade to exceed 100 billion US dollars at an early date, help the Philippines increase its capacity of food production according to its needs, expand imports of readily marketable quality agricultural products from the Philippines, beef up cooperation on new energy, including wind and solar energy, strengthen cooperation on people-to-people exchanges, sub-national exchanges and the recovery of tourism, among other areas, and strengthen public support for bilateral relations.
Li Keqiang stressed that maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea serves the interests of countries in the region, including China and the Philippines. The 25th China-ASEAN Summit held in Cambodia recently issued the Joint Statement on the 20th Anniversary of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC). This shows that China and ASEAN countries have the confidence, ability and wisdom to uphold peace and stability in the South China Sea and resolve disputes through friendly consultations and negotiations. Li expressed the hope that in keeping with the spirit of the DOC and the principles of international law including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, all sides will work together to step up consultations on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea based on the principle of consensus to build the South China Sea into a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation.
Marcos said that the Philippines-China relations are of great importance to both sides and the Asia-Pacific region. Regarding China as a brother, partner and friend of the Philippines, Marcos said the Philippines is willing to work with China to carry forward the traditional friendship, deepen cooperation in various fields on all levels, enhance people-to-people and cultural exchanges, jointly cope with challenges, and forge a strong partnership of cooperation, so as to add a new chapter to the Philippines-China relationship. The Philippines hopes to enhance communication with China to properly settle issues related to the South China Sea and maintain the broader interests of bilateral relations and regional peace and stability.
Wang Yi and He Lifeng and others were present.