China-Philippines trade, business take center stage during Duterte’s visit

CCTV News

The world may be watching how China and the Philippines will handle their territorial dispute in the South China Sea, but President Rodrigo Duterte may be focusing on something else during his four-day state visit to China - trade and business. The world may be watching how China and the Philippines will handle their territorial dispute in the South China Sea, but President Rodrigo Duterte may be focusing on something else during his four-day state visit to China – trade and business.

The world may be watching how China and the Philippines will handle their territorial dispute in the South China Sea, but President Rodrigo Duterte may be focusing on something else during his four-day state visit to China – trade and business.

CCTV’s Barnaby Lo reports how better ties can benefit both countries’ economies. Follow Barnaby Lo ‏on Twitter @barnabychuck

China-Philippines trade, business take center stage during Duterte's visit

China-Philippines trade, business take center stage during Duterte's visit

The world may be watching how China and the Philippines will handle their territorial dispute in the South China Sea, but President Rodrigo Duterte may be focusing on something else during his four-day state visit to China – trade and business. CCTV’s Barnaby Lo reports how better ties can benefit both countries’ economies.

Through the ups and downs of the relationship between China and the Philippines, Chinese appliance giant TCL’s business in the Philippines hasn’t just survived, it’s thrived. Ironically, the best years have been during the height of the South China Sea territorial dispute.

“To be honest, from my observation, although there are some issues between the two nations, two countries, but in the citizens, I think no big problem. The population in the Philippines is 100 million, so the customer demand is huge. That is a real big market you cannot ignore,” TCL Philippines CEO Eason Cai said.

And now, TCL might just get an even bigger boost from Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to China this week. Hundreds of Filipino business leaders have joined Duterte on his trip in what is clearly interest in doing business in China and vice-versa.

All of which appear to already be done or are in the works. China has ended a ban on fruit imports from the Philippines. Its ambassador to the Philippines said China will also be lifting a travel warning issued in 2014. President Duterte has publicly conveyed his wish to get China to put up high speed railways in the country.

China has been pouring massive investments into infrastructure projects all throughout Asia, but the Philippines has been one exception. With ties now warming between Beijing and Manila, the Duterte administration is hoping China can also help the Philippines fast track its development.

But while there’s no question more Chinese investments will benefit the Philippines, Western investors have expressed concern that Duterte’s anti-West rhetoric and alleged extrajudicial killings may have thrown some investment plans into limbo. Duterte has dismissed these concerns, however, saying China can fill the gap.


Fred Teng on China-Philippines relations

To take a look at the state of Chinese and Filipino relations, CCTV America’s Asieh Namdar interviewed America China Public Affairs Institute President, Fred Teng.