Ahead of his official visit to China, President Rodrigo Duterte expressed gratitude toward Beijing for not criticizing his administration, unlike Western nations.
In an interview published on Xinhua on Monday, Duterte praised China for its help in his administration's war on drugs, which has sparked concerns in Western capitals about extrajudicial killings.
"Some other countries know we are short of money, (but) instead of helping us, all they had to do was just to criticize. China never criticizes. They help us quietly. and I said that's why it's part of the sincerity of the people," Duterte said.
Duterte goes to China on Tuesday with at least 200 members of the Philippine business elite to pave the way for what he calls a new commercial alliance
He played up the presence of Chinese Filipinos to highlight the need for closer ties between the two countries.
"So we might be asking for your help, asking the Chinese people to help Chinese people here. They are Filipinos but they are also Chinese," Duterte said.
"My grandfather is Chinese ... It's only China (that) can help us," Duterte added.
Duterte is hopeful his visit to China would open up avenues for aid from the world's second largest economy.
"If we can have the things you have given to other countries by the way of assistance, we'd also like to be a part of it and to be a part of the greater plans of China about the whole of Asia, particularly Southeast Asia," Duterte said.
"All that I would need to do is just to talk and get a firm handshake from the officials and say that we are Filipinos and we are ready to cooperate with you, to help us in building our economy and building our country." —JST, GMA News with Reuters