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According to Chinese news reports, the deal is designed to balance trade between the two countries, quoting Beijing’s ambassador to Manila.
The deal is the likely result of a rapprochement between the two countries since Rodrigo Duterte became president last year, effectively reversing tension over the South China Sea territorial disputes.
During his visit to Beijing in October, Duterte said that he was committed to discussing the South China Sea territorial dispute in a bilateral fashion with his Chinese counterparts.
In November, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to allow Filipino fishermen access to the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, and to provide them with training to improve their catch.
Last week, Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan visited Manila and met with Philippine Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez to look at ways to increase trade between the two countries and examine how to boost Chinese-funded infrastructure projects are underway there.
“The past year was a drastic development in our relationship with China. Now, there’s no looking back,” Lopez said.
“When we signed the 6-year [Joint Commission on Economic and Trade Cooperation] JCETC we have agreed to further strengthen our relationship which will go beyond trading,” Lopez added.
The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies