MANILA Malacanang on Tuesday said it won’t comment on internal affairs of China which it described a ‘friendly neighbor’.
We don’t comment on the internal affairs of our friendly neighbors, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.
Roque was asked for his thoughts on the Communist Party of China (CPC)’s proposal to amend China’s constitution that reportedly would allow President Xi Jinping to extend his term for decades.
According to media reports, the CPC will vote in March whether to abolish term limits by removing the phrase: China’s president and vice president shall serve no more than two consecutive terms.
Xi, considered as one of the most powerful leaders in China’s history, is currently serving his second and last five-year term as president of the world’s second largest economy. Xi’s term will end in 2022.
Although Charter change is also being pushed in the Philippines, Roque assured the amendments do not aim to extend President Rodrigo Duterte’s one six-year term.
That’s a marked difference because the President has said he wants to step down earlier if possible and will not stay one minute longer beyond 2022, Roque said.
Roque assured that Duterte’s statement not to stay longer than 2022 is absolute.
He may step down earlier if the Constitution is amended, Roque said.
The House of Representatives has already started tackling the Charter change with the main objective of changing the government structure from unitary to a federal form.
Under President Rodrigo Duterte’s leadership, the Philippines-China relations have been revived, resulting in over PHP375 billion worth of soft loans and grants for big the Philippines ticket projects including the Build, Build, Build projects.
The Philippines and China have also increased economic ties as well as people-to-people exchanges.
Both sides have also been tackling the territorial disputes in the West Philippine Sea through friendly dialogues.
Source: Philippine News Agency