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Duterte affirms his association with China in the middle of the commercial tiff of Beijing with Washington

HAINAN – President Rodrigo Duterte reaffirmed on Tuesday the association of the Philippines with China, since the Asian superpower is involved in a trade dispute with the United States.

During the opening of the Boao Forum for Asia here, Duterte said that the Philippines and China remain "shoulder to shoulder" in the campaign against terrorism, a phrase that is also used to describe the security cooperation of Manila with Washington .

He also cited the cooperation of the Philippines with China in the construction of infrastructure and the fight against crime and the trafficking of illicit drugs.

"Bilaterally, the Philippines shows how complex relationships are not an obstacle to a positive and mutually beneficial engagement.With China, we unite in the war against crime and the illegal drug trade." We stand shoulder to shoulder in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism, make no mistake: there can be no progress without stability in the lands and waters of Asia, "said Duterte.

"Like sovereigns, the Philippines and China are partners in the construction of much-needed infrastructure, which are building blocks and bridges of greater understanding among our peoples, and we are working together to strengthen economic complementarities," he added.

While the Philippines maintains closer relations with China, Duterte said that the Philippines, a traditional ally of the United States, is prepared to work with other countries in the region.

"Let me say it again today: the destination of the Philippines is in Asia," said the Filipino leader.

"The Philippines is ready to work with all the nations of the region that seek friendship and cooperation," he added.

Duterte made the comments in the face of concerns about slow commercial tensions among the US. UU And China, which threatens to derail the growth momentum of the Philippines.

The president of EE. US, Donald Trump, has imposed tariffs on Chinese goods worth 50,000 million dollars to punish the alleged violations of China's intellectual property. China responded by paying $ 50 billion in tariffs on US products. Trump counterattacked by announcing a possible imposition of additional $ 100 billion tariffs on China's goods, a move that seems to hinder free trade and hurts the economic prospects of some countries, including the Philippines.

The Philippines, through its ambassador to China, José Santiago "Chito" Sta. Romana has expressed concern about the commercial tension and has urged the United States and China to solve their problems through negotiations. China is the main bilateral trade partner of the Philippines, and exports from Manila to Beijing increased 8.4 percent last year. China was also the fourth market destination for exports from the Philippines in January, and Manila sent products worth 591.91 million dollars to the Asian superpower.

& # 39; Reject the Cold War mentality & # 39;

In his opening speech to the Boao Forum, Chinese President Xi Jinping urged nations to reject the Cold War mentality by underlining the need for greater cooperation in the region.

"In a world that aspires to peace and development, cold-war and zero-sum mentalities are even more misplaced," Xi said.

"We must refrain from seeking dominance and reject the zero-sum game, we must refrain from begging our neighbor" and reject the politics of power or hegemony-the strong harassment of the weak ", he added.

The Chinese leader does not elaborate his comment, which was made after Trump complained about what he described as a "stupid" trade between the United States and China.

Xi said that countries should work together to promote common prosperity and development while respecting core interests and major concerns. He also called for a new approach to state-to-state relations that favors dialogue, not confrontation and alliances instead of the alliance.

"Human society faces a great choice to open or close, move forward or backward," the Chinese leader said.

"Openness leads to progress while seclusion leaves it behind, the world has become a global village with intertwined interests and our economy and social progress interconnected," he added.

Duterte said that the member countries of the Boao Forum for Asia should do their part to achieve the common goal of achieving prosperity in the region.

"We all have a stake and responsibilities in the forging of a more prosperous continent and world, this is what nations, large or small, should act collectively when we leave Boao: cooperate, coordinate and collaborate. our shared dream of prosperity for all, "said the President.

Duterte cites Filipino earnings

In the same event, Duterte highlighted his administration's priorities, including his development agenda and security efforts. [19659002] "For too long, the Philippines has nurtured the dream of a comfortable life for our citizens We want a society where there are opportunities for all We want a nation where workers, talented and law-abiding can move forward together and climb the socioeconomic ladder, "said the Philippine president.

Little by little we are making the Filipino dream come true. As we strive to boost our economy, we face challenges. But we will not be deterred. We seek to partner with responsible local and foreign companies to advance the progress we envision. "

Duterte said his administration has improved the peace and order situation in the Philippines and sustained the battle against corruption. on-going to strengthen the policy framework for companies to prosper.

"For me, along with drug trafficking and terrorism, corruption is a pernicious and rotten social disease that devours my country. I told my compatriots and I will say it again here: corruption will have no place in my government. Not under my eyes, "he said.

" With good governance as the basis of our sound economic policy, the Philippines will do more to increase investments in the country, particularly in infrastructure, innovation and interconnectivity. "[19659002] Duterte He said his administration would spend an equivalent of five to seven percent of the Philippines' gross domestic product (GDP) on infrastructure and would work to reduce the incidence of poverty from 22 percent in 2015 to 14 percent by 2022. The Philippines also seeks to achieve an economic growth of seven to eight percent each year until 2022, added the President.

Duterte said that his ambitious infrastructure program "Build, Build, Build" would provide the "solid backbone" for the country's growth. [19659002] "We have started a three-year renewal program that amounts to more than $ 69 billion until 2022."

] The President also expressed the hope that the Philippines would be included in the top third of the Glob. to the innovation index by the time he leaves office. To achieve the objective, the Philippines plans to improve the competitiveness and productivity of micro, small and medium enterprises, which contribute more than half of the country's employment.

"With greater access to technology and financing, we will apply Science, Technology and Innovation in agriculture and service industries, invest in improving research and development and intensify international cooperation in this key area. to learn from others, "said Duterte.

Duterte also reaffirmed the commitment of the Philippines to promote interconnectivity and deepen commitment and cooperation with friends and neighbors.

"As President of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), we help build a regional architecture based on standards and focused on ASEAN, we will continue to pursue this goal," said the President, referring to the Philippines. presidency of the block last year.

Duterte expressed optimism about Asia's prospects, citing the region's growth and contribution to the global economy. He said that Asia is "ready to make a bigger footprint in the global economy."

"There are reasons to expect: Asia is expected to continue its growth until 2050. By then, our region will account for more than half of the world's GDP," said the President.

"The basic components are there: the main economies of Asia are providing models from which the youngest can learn.The developing economies are slowly coming to the optimum demographic point.They are also making progress in economic growth and human development. "

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