Joint statement of the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China, September 1, 2011

Joint statement of the Republic of the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China

 [Beijing, September 1, 2011]

1. At the invitation of President Hu Jintao of the People’s Republic of China, Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III is undertaking a State Visit to China from 30 August to 3 September 2011.  From Beijing, President Aquino is proceeding to Shanghai and Fujian. Both sides agreed that this a milestone visit in the development of Philippines–China bilateral relations.

2. President Aquino and President Hu had a fruitful meeting.  H.E. Wu Bangguo, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and H.E. Wen Jiabao, Premier of the State Council, met with President Aquino respectively. The two leaders shared a positive assessment of the development of Philippines-China relations in the last 36 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations on 9 June 1975. They reiterated their commitment to jointly pursue a long-term and stable relationship of strategic cooperation on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit.  They also agreed that the Joint Action Plan for Strategic Cooperation signed by the two sides on 29 October 2009 will continue to guide cooperation in all fields. The Philippines reaffirmed its adherence to the one China policy.

3. The two leaders welcomed the various agreements signed by the two sides in the course of the visit, expressing confidence that these will further strengthen bilateral cooperation in the fields of, among others, trade, economic and technical cooperation, tourism, nautical connectivity, media, sports, culture and information.

4. Acknowledging that the two countries are close neighbors bound by time-honored friendship, vibrant trade and sustained people-to-people contacts over the centuries, the two leaders committed themselves to continue strengthening the strategic and cooperative relationship for peace and development between the Philippines and China.

5. The two leaders affirmed the importance of the existing Philippines-China bilateral dialogue mechanisms in enhancing understanding, broadening cooperation and striving for a stronger relationship.

6. The two sides agreed to increase regular high-level exchanges, visits and meetings between leaders, cabinet members, legislators, judicial officials, defense and military officials and local government officials. They also agreed to encourage more exchanges among youth, entrepreneurs, educators, media practitioners and artists, among others, to strengthen better understanding and mutual trust between the two countries and peoples.

7. The two leaders agreed that with the current instability of the global economy and the growing role of emerging and developing economies in sustaining growth, it is highly practical and important for the Philippines and China to broaden and strengthen their economic and trade cooperation. The two leaders affirmed that the Philippines-China Five-Year Development Program for Trade and Economic Cooperation (2012-2016) serves as the blueprint for future efforts in the following sectors: agriculture and fishery, infrastructure and public works, mining, energy, information and communications technology (ICT), processing and manufacturing, tourism, engineering services and forestry.

8. Both sides agreed to further expand the volume of bilateral trade and accordingly set a target of US$60 billion in total two-way trade by 2016. They also agreed to improve the trade structure, promote a more vigorous exchange of investments and explore new areas of economic cooperation in the fields of, among others, new and renewable energy, shipping and ports.

9. China affirmed its support for the Public Private Partnership (PPP) program of the Philippine government and committed to encourage its qualified companies to participate in the competitive bidding processes of the program.

10. The Philippines expressed appreciation to China for its development assistance to various economic, agricultural and infrastructure projects in the Philippines.

11. The two sides will discuss the establishment of a nautical highway that will infuse new energy to bilateral trade and economic activities between the two countries which complement and support the connectivity between ASEAN and China.

12. The two leaders welcomed the increasing number of twinning arrangements between their cities and provinces and stressed the role of such arrangements as bridges of promoting mutual understanding and friendship between the two countries and peoples.

13. The two leaders agreed that 2012-2013 will be the “Philippines-China Years of Friendly Exchanges.” The two leaders expressed satisfaction that two-way tourist arrivals have breached the one-million mark. They agreed to adopt the goal of doubling two-way tourist arrivals to two (2) million by 2016.  They expressed optimism that an expansion of capacity entitlements in air services will contribute to the attainment of this goal.

14. Noting that the two countries have active judicial and law-enforcement exchanges and cooperation through existing bilateral agreements, the two leaders agreed to fulfill the legal procedures to expedite the entry into force of the Treaty between the Republic of the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China Concerning Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, and begin negotiations at an early date for a bilateral agreement on Transfer of Sentenced Persons. They reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening cooperation in combating transnational crimes, including drug trafficking and trafficking in persons.

15. Both leaders exchanged views on the maritime disputes and agreed not to let the maritime disputes affect the broader picture of friendship and cooperation between the two countries. The two leaders reiterated their commitment to addressing the disputes through peaceful dialogue, to maintain continued regional peace, security, stability and an environment conducive to economic progress. Both leaders reaffirmed their commitments to respect and abide by the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea signed by China and the ASEAN member countries in 2002.

16. The two leaders expressed satisfaction with the progress of ASEAN-China relations in the past 20 years and affirmed the principle of ASEAN centrality in the discussions on the nature and shape of a future regional architecture in Asia.

17. The two leaders expressed their willingness to further strengthen cooperation in the United Nations, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Asia-Europe Meeting, World Trade Organization, United Nations Climate Change Conference and other regional and multilateral organizations.