President Rodrigo Roa Duterte boards a plane bound for the People’s Republic of China at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on April 24, 2019. The President is scheduled to participate in the 2nd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing. KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte leaves for China on Wednesday, Aug. 28 for his fifth visit to China and eighth meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

In a press briefing in Malacañang, Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Meynardo Montealegre and Chief of Presidential Protocol and Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs Robert Borje said the visit was upon the invitation of Xi.  Duterte will stay in China until Sept. 1.

In Beijing, President Duterte will hold a bilateral meeting with President Xi Jinping “to discuss the accomplishments and shared goals of the Philippine and China under our Comprehensive Strategic Cooperation.”

The officials said President Duterte hopes to exchange views with President Xi on how to hasten the pace of functional cooperation in terms of concrete projects, and on issues of mutual interest to both countries.

This marks the eighth meeting of the two presidents, the officials said.  

Both leaders will also witness the signing of a number of cooperative bilateral documents and memoranda of understanding aimed at accelerating the cooperation between the two countries. 

President Duterte will also travel to Guangzhou to support Gilas Pilipinas, the Philippines’ national basketball team, as they compete in the FIBA Basketball World Cup.  He will witness the game between the Filipino ball players and Italian opponents on Aug. 31.

While in Guandong, President Duterte will receive a call from Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, where they are expected to discuss ways to further strengthen cooperation efforts, increase trade and investment and deepen the friendship between Filipinos and the people of Guandong.  (Melo M. Acuña)