Philippine senators ask Duterte to disclose China energy plan

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in suburban Pasay city southeast of Manila Philippines Tuesday Nov. 20 2018. Xi visited the Philippines for the first time to deepen ties with America's ally

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in suburban Pasay city southeast of Manila Philippines Tuesday Nov. 20 2018. Xi visited the Philippines for the first time to deepen ties with America's ally

Duterte said Philippine participation in Beijing's "Belt and Road Initiative" was discussed and Xi invited the Philippine leader to attend the infrastructure loan program's second global forum in China next year. Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said Xi's visit to the country will be a turning point in the history of both countries.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, right, proposes a toast to Chinese President Xi Jinping during a state banquet at Malacanang Palace in Manila, Philippines, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018.

The leaders of the Philippines and China discussed again the territorial dispute in the South China Sea. "Indeed, amity solves worldwide disputes and even forges a more powerful alliance between both countries against threats to security, including terrorism, violent extremism, criminality, and the drug menace", he added.

China is also the country's top trading partner, leading export market for the Philippines and one of the largest sources of tourists to the Philippines.

The Palace said at the time that since the sites were in Philippine waters, China would have to comply with Philippine laws. "We will not change course", U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said in a weekend meeting in Papua New Guinea that was attended by Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum leaders, including Xi.

For their part, Arroyo and Sotto, while applauding the upgrade of the bilateral ties, both expressed their willingness to step up exchanges with Chinese legislative bodies and deepen practical cooperation in all fields, for the benefits of the two peoples and the building of a community with a shared future for humanity.

Two Philippine officials told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Duterte's administration would likely sign a memorandum of understanding to support Beijing's "Belt and Road Initiative", an ambitious infrastructure loan program that has been criticized by the United States as endangering debtor nations to debt bondage and could compromise their independence. Xi has denied that Chinese loans could lead to a "debt trap".




But over two years later, only a trickle of funding has arrived, prompting critics to question whether Duterte has been duped into pivoting toward China and giving too much ground on the South China Sea dispute.

Lopez said at the APEC meetings that the Philippines won't agree to "unreasonable terms" in any transaction - including with China. Albano said the visit would be good for the country as it paves the way for stronger bilateral relations, which will result in more trade and scientific and cultural exchanges.

"Philippines is not for sale", the marchers chanted, as some brandished signs saying "China out of Philippine waters" in reference to a long-running dispute over the South China Sea. "We filed a resolution demanding for transparency on what will be signed tomorrow or the next day". According to a framework draft (it's still unclear how similar the Philippine officials' framework agreement is to the final agreement) made public by Senator Antonio Trillanes, an opposing senator in the Philippines, the exploration would be mutually beneficial for the two nations, and their opposing views on the South China Sea, and more broadly on sovereignty and maritime rights, would not be challenged on either side of the deal.

The senators said any agreement with China would be a violation of the constitution, and an impeachable offense.

SECURITY CHECK. Members of the Manila Police Bomb Squad implement security measures along bayside Roxas Blvd.

The Chinese leader's Air China flight, on a Boeing B747-400, landed 11:28 a.m.at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, where he was welcomed by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd, Chinese Ambassador Zhao Janhua, and Philippine Ambassador to Beijing Chito Sta.

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