The Philippines and China on Tuesday signed 29 deals during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit, with President Rodrigo Duterte emphasizing full cooperation and friendly relations between the two countries despite territorial dispute. China and the Philippines inked 29 deals — including a joint oil and gas exploration pact which Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said should serve as a “solution [on] how we can enjoy resources in the area,” referring to the disputed South China Sea (ABS-CBN News).
During the visit, Duterte said there was “a deepening trust and confidence” between the two leaders.
He said they talked also about their increasing trade and investment, and China’s involvement in the Duterte’s signature $180 billion “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program.
“With mutual respect, sincerity and adherence to sovereign equality, I will continue to work closely with President Xi,” Duterte said. (CNBC)
At an official speech last July, Pres. Duterte told an audience of Filipino-Chinese businessmen, “If you want, just make us a province, like Fujian.” He also added, “It’s like co-ownership,” he said. “It’s like the two of us would own that,” pertaining to the energy and natural resources in the disputed sea territory between China and the Philippines.
Last July, the public expressed anger over red banners hanging from footbridges reading, “Welcome to the Philippines, province of China,” complete with the Chinese flag and Chinese characters.
Former Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the signs were the handiwork of enemies of the government.
The public expressed concern over the administration’s “blatant kowtowing” to China, with several protesters taking to the streets, while others voiced their opinion online. Here are some netizen reactions and “signs” that the Philippines is being taken over by China: