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Duterte formally announced as country coordinator for ASEAN-China dialogue


By Prince Golez

Malacañang on Thursday welcomed the formal announcement of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore on the designation of President Rodrigo Duterte as the new country coordinator for Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-China Summit.

The Philippines will assume the coordinatorship until year 2021.

“Prime Minister Lee made the announcement during his opening remarks at the 21st ASEAN-China Summit, wherein he expressed confidence in the Philippines’ ability to continue bringing ASEAN’s relations with China to greater heights,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

As country coordinator, Panelo said that Duterte’s “pragmatic, transparent and diplomatic orientation in his foreign policies” will bridge “a more solid partnership between ASEAN and China.”

During the regional bloc’s meeting with the People’s Republic of China Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday, Duterte pushed for the “expeditious conclusion” of an effective Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea.

“ASEAN and China have seen steady progress in the initial phase of the COC negotiations since the announcement of a Single Draft COC Negotiating Text and looked forward to the completion of the first reading of the Single Draft COC Negotiating Text by 2019. ASEAN and China will continue to maintain a conducive environment for future rounds of negotiations of the COC,” the chief executive said.

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