As of recent, relations between the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China has been more than strained. In a few words, disputes over territory in the South China sea have flared up, causing tensions between leadership in Manilla and Beijing.
On Wednesday, though, reports from China say that the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will visit China on October 18th, and will stay until the 21st.
This is a big step toward normalizing relations between the two countries. The delegation that whill accompany Duterte is yet to be determined, but it is known that a large number of Philippine entrepreneurs will travel with Duterte to discuss potential new deals in the rail, construction, tourism, agribusiness, power, and manufacturing sectors. The number could be anywhere between 24-250 business groups planning to head to Beijing.
This eagarness to do business with China is important because of the strained relations of the recent past between Manila and Beijing. Territorial claims in the South China Sea has stifled business relations between the two countries. Duterte, specifically, has been a heavy supporter or normalizing relations with China.
It is known, as well, that Duterte will seek billions of dollars in infrastructure investments from China over the coming months (which Chinese firms are open to providing).