The President has accepted "with pleasure" the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping to attend the second Belt and Road forum in China next year during their recent bilateral meeting in Malacañang.
Panelo downplayed the poor net trust rating of China, saying the United States and Japan are the Philippines' "traditional allies hence it is expected that there is higher level of trust in these two countries".
The two sides have been working to effectively control their divergence on maritime issues and engage in practical cooperation, said Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua.
And amid unsettled territorial disputes, Duterte said the leaders also discussed mutual concerns on maritime cooperation, as well as defense, security, law enforcement, transnational crime, and strengthening their partnership in combating the trafficking of illegal drugs.
Xi, for his part, extended his honest greetings and best wishes to all the people of the Philippines, saying that he had been looking forward to this visit.
"I commend the President for taking on Jose Rizal's mantle and for his commitment to an independent Philippines", he added.
"During the visit, I was once again deeply touched by your sincerity and determination to grow our bilateral relations and by the friendly sentiment of the Philippine people toward the Chinese people", he said.
"When we talk about a state visit, [the] primary objective is not to sign projects or agreements, it is to discuss issues that relate to both countries", he added.
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"However the worldwide situation may change, both sides will remain committed to this relationship and work hard to make it even stronger", he continued.
But relations have been warmer since Donald Trump became USA president and dropped American criticism of Duterte´s anti-drug crackdown that has killed thousands. Thus, he said, the Chinese Government would continue to support the current administration's initiatives. However, several reports cited Philippine Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi as later saying that the deal will cover South China Sea development.
Aside from the issue on the South China Sea, the meeting with Xi also concentrated on trade and commerce between the Philippines and China.
The Committee will be co-chaired by both states' foreign ministries with the participation of relevant agencies such as the Department of Energy (DOE).
As such, the senators said any agreement with the Chinese regime would be a violation of the constitution, and an impeachable offense.
"What he is saying is, we have to exercise self-restraint because any conflict that arises in that region will definitely affect us, as I said earlier, it could be inflaming collateral damage or creating inferno", he said.
China's foreign ministry said major projects agreed by both sides "are proceeding smoothly and continue to achieve positive results".
"If Manila does tend to move into Beijing's political orbit, it means that it may not function and work with other ASEAN countries". I fu*k*n* care! A framework or architecture for gas and oil in our part of the sea demands the draft be MINE ... MIO ...
The two leaders yesterday oversaw 29 agreements of sorts, many of them broad or vague, from cooperating in education, culture and industrial park development to jointly promoting infrastructure, agriculture cooperatives and establishing sanitation protocols for shipping coconuts.