China's president will visit the Philippines for the first time in a high point of a love-hate relationship with an American treaty ally with offers of infrastructure loans and new accords to prevent clashes and possibly explore for oil and gas in the disputed South China Sea.
The survey, conducted from September 15 to 23, was released on Tuesday, the start of Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to the country.
"The two governments will endeavor to agree on the cooperation arrangements within 12 months of this memorandum of agreement", he said.
Though public opinion is largely supportive of Duterte's presidency, surveys consistently show reservations about his China policy and his personal dislike of the United States.
At the invitation of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Xi will pay a state visit to the southeastern Asian country on November 20-21. China is there, he said.
A clever way for China to prevent the United States from extending its influence into the South China Sea in the name of defending the freedom of navigation is to conclude bilateral or multilateral agreements with all countries which have territorial claims in the disputed waters.
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During the state banquet Tuesday, Xi admitted there were "obstacles" in the past but the bilateral relations have been placed on the "right trajectory" since Duterte assumed office in 2016. The 73-year-old said: "It's now in their hands, so why do we have to create frictions (and undertake) strong military activity that will prompt a response from China?"
The arbitration was launched by the Philippines, whose "sovereign rights" it said China had violated. "We need to know whether or not these agreements are compatible with our sovereign and territorial interests and in full compliance with our worldwide obligations, particularly the arbitral tribunal ruling on the West Philippine Sea", Hontiveros said. Beijing had a sour relationship with the archipelagic country under Duterte's predecessor, Benigno Aquino III, who initiated the worldwide arbitration case against China's claims in the contested South China Sea.
Xi earlier said he and Duterte had "friendly" and "productive" meeting on closer cooperation on trade and investments and infrastructure development. While Western governments have sharply criticized Duterte's brutal crackdown on illegal drugs, China has not.
Locsin, who declared he drafted the document, said progress on the talks will depend on the Department of Energy that has the authority to lift the moratorium with the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte. Worries only increased after cautious remarks from other Southeast Asian leaders about the potential debt trap a nation may encounter after signing dozens of juicy Chinese agreements. "We have formed, together with the Chinese government, a bilateral consultation mechanism as an important venue in amicably resolving territorial disputes and to strengthen the momentum of cooperation in matters of common interest, such as the protection of our fishermen", he added.
China attaches great importance to aligning its Belt and Road Initiative with the Philippines' Ambisyon Natin 2040 development strategy as well as the country's multi-billion-U.S. -dollar "Build, Build, Build" program, Zhao said, adding that China's firm support for the Philippines' construction and growth demonstrates that China is a reliable partner for the southeastern Asian country.