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Duterte heaps praise on Xi Jinping: Napakabait na tao!

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President Rodrigo Duterte only has kind words for Chinese President Xi Jinping after China moved to increase the volume of exports it gets from the Philippines after a lull in trade.

In his speech at the celebration of People’s Day in Socorro, Oriental Mindoro Wednesday (March 29), Duterte also praised the Chinese for sourcing agricultural products from the Philippines once again.

“To the credit of President Xi Jinping, napakabait na tao. Pati ‘yung Chinese, talagang Chinese people, they are really good. They are faithful friends,” he said.

Duterte said trade relations between China and the Philippines normalized after he assured Xi during his state visit to Beijing last year that he seeks the friendship of the Chinese.

“Sabi ko, wala akong kasali diyan sa giyera-giyera. Ako gusto ko lang makipag-kaibigan. So, ngayon, we are back at full normal, 100 percent na tayo sa banana pati sa pineapple. Pineapple is hitting again 70 percent,” he said.

Duterte said the Philippines’ relationship with China only became strained under his predecessor, Benigno Aquino III, over the issue of West Philippine Sea.

“Nagalit lang siya kay Aquino and they hated Aquino and for the rest of his term, hindi tayo pinapansin,” he said.

It was under Aquino’s term that the Philippine government brought the maritime row in the South China Sea to the attention of the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA).

The tribunal invalidated China’s sweeping claims over the South China Sea in a ruling released last year.