China and the Philippines boost trade

June 2, 2006 at 2:51 PM
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MANILA, Philippines, June 2 (UPI) -- China and the Philippines are deepening their bilateral relations.

AKI news agency reported on June 2 that a 300-member delegation of Chinese political and business leaders will begin a three-day visit to the Philippines on Saturday.

The two countries still have a number of unresolved issues, including a territorial dispute over the Spratly Islands and the Philippines being Washington's staunchest regional ally.

Chinese trade minister Bo Xilai is leading the group, which includes senior officials from the agriculture, foreign affairs and tourism ministries.

Businessmen accompanying Bo include China Development Bank and China Export and Import Bank officials and senior steel and mining managers.

In 2005 Chinese-Filipino trade amounted to $17.56 billion. Manila and Beijing hope to raise bilateral trade to $30 billion over the next four years.

The Philippines government has opened new diplomatic offices in Beijing, Shanghai and in the provinces of Guangzhou and Guang XI.

In April 2005 Chinese president Hu Jintao visited Manila and signed $1.1 billion in business accords.

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