Duterte, Lam discuss HK OFWs’ welfare

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Duterte and Lam in Da Nang (photo courtesy of SAP Bong Go)

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte talked with Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam in Vietnam on how to improve the welfare of overseas Filipino workers in the former Crown colony, Malacanang said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the President and the head of the Hong Kong Administrative Region (HKSAR) had a brief “pull aside” meeting on Nov. 10 at the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Da Nang, Vietnam.

“They discussed the welfare of OFWs in Hong Kong and the the 20th anniversary of HKSAR,” Roque said.

The following day, Mr. Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping had a “frank” discussion about the South China Sea, with Mr. Xi promising that China will not hinder freedom of navigation in the area.

Roque said the Chinese leader also told President Duterte that the United States and North Korea should resume talks about the Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.

“President Xi and President Duterte had a frank discussion…President Xi said there’s no threat to freedom of navigation. That’s already there. They won’t stop anyone,” Roque said.

On the discussions on Code of Conduct on the South China Sea, Roque said President Xi noted that there “was already an agreement on the framework on the Code of Conduct and the discussion will continue and he expects this to be finished.”

“On North Korea, he said China had no interest in open conflict breaking out in the Korean peninsula,” Roque said.

“(He said) maybe it’s the countries that are far away that have that interest but China believes this should be resolved peacefully,” he said.

“They’re encouraging the United States and North Korea to talk. China is a responsible country, a member of the (UN) security council, and it will implement Security Council resolutions,” he added.

Roque said the Chinese leader told Mr. Duterte that China enjoyed good relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) because the Philippine leader was “leading the way by example.”

He added that both sides agreed to strengthen further their economic, military,  and cultural ties.

He added that President Duterte invited the Chinese leader to visit the Philippines while President Xi invited his Philippine counterpart to again visit China.


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