Manila pulls out all the stops to welcome Chinese President Xi Jinping

Xi Jinping. Photo: ABS-CBN News.
Xi Jinping. Photo: ABS-CBN News.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will arrive in Manila tomorrow for a two-day state visit and the Philippines is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that everything goes smoothly during his visit.

Xi was invited by President Rodrigo Duterte to visit the country in October 2016 during the latter’s visit to China. Duterte invited him again during the APEC leaders’ meeting in Lima, Peru in November 2016, reported ABS-CBN News.

This is the first time that a Chinese president will visit the country in 13 years. Xi will stay at the swanky Shangri-La Hotel in Taguig City.

After his arrival tomorrow, he will proceed to Rizal Park to lay a wreath on the tomb of Dr. Jose Rizal, the Philippines’ national hero. He will then go to presidential palace Malacañang where he will have a bilateral meeting with President Duterte and his cabinet members. The day will end with a state banquet in the Palace, Rappler reported.

On Wednesday, House of Representatives Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III will visit Xi at his hotel. He will also have a photo session with leaders of the Filipino-Chinese community before he flies back to Beijing.

Meanwhile, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has suspended classes and work in Manila tomorrow due to the visit. Work at the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, and the lower courts in Manila have also been suspended, reported the Philippine Daily Inquirer. 

Today the Manila Police District (MPD) announced that the following roads will be closed starting tomorrow at 6am, the Inquirer said. The MPD advised the public to seek alternative roads instead.

  • North and southbound lanes of Roxas Blvd. from Katigbak Drive to P. Ocampo
  • North and southbound lanes of Bonifacio Drive from Anda Circle to Katigbak Drive
  • East and westbound lanes of P. Burgos from Lagusnilad to Roxas Blvd.
  • East and westbound lanes of Finance Rd. from Taft Ave. to P. Burgos
  • East and westbound lanes of TM Kalaw from MH del Pilar to Roxas Blvd.
  • East and westbound lanes of Pres. Quirino Ave. from MH del Pilar to Roxas Blvd.
  • East and westbound lanes of P. Ocampo from Mabini to Roxas Blvd.
  • East and westbound lanes of Ayala Boulevard from Solano to Taft Ave
  • The entire stretch of Solano from P. Casal to J.P Laurel.

Duterte is generally viewed as friendly to China. Recently, he said that the South China Sea belongs to China and that the United States should “realize” this.

Early on in his presidency, Duterte also infamously denounced the country’s ties with its long-time ally the United States and said that he has realigned his ideologies with China’s.

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