Philippine president says Belt and Road Initiative complements ASEAN integration

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, May 16, 2017
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MANILA, May 16 (Xinhua) -- The Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China complements the efforts of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to integrate as an economic community, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday.

The global trade projects under the Belt and Road Initiative "can be a parallel or platform for growth in the region," Duterte said in Davao City in the southeastern region of The Philippines, upon his arrival from Beijing.

"We can look at ways to complement our integration efforts in Southeast Asia even as we seek to reinforce ASEAN centrality," Duterte said.

He added that ASEAN can use the Belt and Road Initiative "to stimulate growth and improve market access as it facilitates connectivity and provides much-needed funding."

Duterte visited Beijing and attended the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing on May 14 and May 15. It was his second visit to China since he took office in June last year.

With the initiative, there are opportunities to synergize our efforts to bring about progress and prosperity, as well as peace and stability that our peoples and our region deserve, he said.

"China wants a peaceful region because a peaceful region translates into more prosperity for China," he said.

Duterte said he had the opportunity to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang separately. "I am very happy that they are sincere and they are to comply with their commitments to us," he said.

"We renewed our resolve to strengthen our friendship and mutually beneficial partnership in a broad range of areas. We are resolved to fully use the mechanisms we have established to dialogue openly, monitor progress and ensure implementation of projects," Duterte said.

"Growth and development ride on the back of peace, security and stability," he said.

The Philippines chairs the ASEAN meeting this year which also coincides with its 50th anniversary.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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