MANILA -- Philippine Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III in a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday discussed efforts to strengthen Philippine-China ties not just through diplomatic channels but also party-to-party relations.
Pimentel is also the Party President of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino�Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) while Li is a member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
"There is so much potential for cooperation between our countries. After all, the Philippines and China have had relations long before there was a People's Republic of China or a Republic of the Philippines, Pimentel said in a press statement.
At present, there is already an agreement on friendship and cooperation between the two ruling parties.
Pimentel will be representing PDP-Laban in talks with the CPC and ruling parties of other major countries in Beijing this December.
What Premier Li and I want is to establish a long-standing relationship which would be immune to the issues of the day, and built on the friendship of our two nations, and not just our governments, he added.
During the meeting, Li pledged that China will provide grants to help rebuild the City of Marawi.
In turn, the senators said they would activate the Philippine-China Friendship Association in the Senate and to facilitate an exchange of parliamentarians with the National People's Congress of China.
The meeting, hosted by Li, was held at the Conrad Hotel in Pasay City and included Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III, Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri, Emmanuel Pacquiao, and Sherwin Gatchalian.
Source: Philippine News Agency