President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday met with Communist Party of China committee member Meng Xiangfeng in Malacañang, after the party was invited to the Philippines by the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
According to a press release, Duterte reiterated the Filipinos' desire and wish to have a stronger bond with the Chinese during the meeting with the CPC.
He added that the bond between the two countries is “improving every day.”
Duterte made the statement even as the Department of National Defense is considering a diplomatic protest against China amid the reported "militarization" of Kagitingan (Fiery Cross) Reef in the South China Sea.
Other CPC members who were present during the meeting were Yuan Zhibing, director general of Bureau One International Department of the CPC; Lin Zhi, division chief, personnel bureau, CPC; and Du Dingding, division chief, Bureau One International Department of the CPC.
Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua and Embassy of China Counsellor Sun Yi were also present during the meeting.
Joining Duterte were PDP-Laban top officials Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, as well as former presidential spokesperson and incumbent Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Ernesto Abella. —Trisha Macas/KBK, GMA News