Strengthening ties

MEETING OF FRIENDS– The smiles of Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez (left) and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (right) as they begin their meeting today at Conrad Hotel clearly indicate the enhanced bilateral relations between China and the Philippines.
 
After attending the recently-concluded 31st Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations hosted by the Philippines, Li chose to stay for one day more here in the country for an opportunity to talk with other Philippine officials to exchange views on building on the gains achieved in China-Philippines relations.
 
Alvarez noted that Li chose the Philippines as the country for his first official visit after the 19th Congress of the Communist Party of China, which indicates the importance Beijing gives to its bilateral relations with the Philippines. Li is also the first Chinese premier to visit the country in over 10 years.
 
With Li in the meeting were several ministry-level Chinese officials. On the other hand, Alvarez was accompanied by several House leaders, including Deputy Speakers Raneo Abu, Mercedes Alvarez, Pia Cayetano, Gwendolyn Garcia, Sharon Garin, Romeo Quimbo, and Eric Singson; Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, former Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., and Reps. Ana Cristina Go, Rosemarie “Baby” Arenas, Dakila Carlo Cua, and Secretary General Cesar Pareja.