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Meetings with Xi, Putin were productive – Rody

PRESIDENT Duterte is all smiles as he heads back home after a successful participation in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Vietnam. He was accompanied by, among others, Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go. (Presidential photo)

PRESIDENT Duterte is all smiles as he heads back home after a successful participation in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Vietnam. He was accompanied by, among others, Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go. (Presidential photo)

President Duterte said yesterday that his bilateral meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Vietnam were the most productive and meaningful.

“The most productive, by the way, was our talk with President Xi Jinping and President Putin,” Duterte said in his arrival speech at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

According to Duterte, he has renewed his friendship with the two countries.

“I also took the opportunity to meet my counterparts from many economies. I renewed my friendship with President Vladimir Putin of Russia and with President Xi Jinping of China,” he said.

Duterte said he sees a very bright future for the relationship between the Philippines and China. “I see a very bright future for our relationship. Nothing to do with military. I have stated before and I was not lying, I would not entertain talks about military or anything,” he said.

Duterte thanked Xi anew for China’s assistance in the battle in Marawi City against the Maute Group. “I had to thank Mr. Xi Jinping for the timely and crucial help that he extended to our country when we were fighting the siege of Marawi,” he said.

The Chief Executive noted that he had a fruitful talk with Putin, citing Russia’s expression of support for the administration’s fight against illegal drugs and terrorism.

“They have extended their open support for us in fighting terrorism and drugs. And almost all of them also have the same problem. So madaling kausapin because they’re also suffering from the same the scourge with drugs,” Duterte said.

Meanwhile, Duterte told Xi in Vietnam that he will raise the dispute over the South China Sea as chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit this week.

“I said, ‘I am not raising any sovereign issue. Do not worry.’ But as Chairman, I made it a tunnel for the communications to be active,” Duterte said.

“I had to do it because the Philippines chairs the ASEAN now. I cannot escape that from my duty so I have every right to ask him. But I explained it to him in a very nice way,” he added.

Xi assured Duterte that all countries have the right of the safe passage in the disputed South China Sea. “He assured us again, ‘Do not worry. You have all the rights of the safe passage.’ And that will also be applicable to all countries,” Duterte said, recalling his conversation with Xi. (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)

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