RP, China Sign 2 Landmark Pacts

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The Philippines on Thursday signed two bilateral pacts with China, including the landmark consular agreement.President Arroyo witnessed the signing of “Philippines-China Joint Action Plan for Strategic Cooperation” (JAP) and the “Philippines-China Consular Agreement” between visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo.The signing was held during the final leg of Yang’s two-day visit to the Philippines.In an interview, Romulo said the first pact covers a gamut of RP-China bilateral relations from economic to political aspects, and maps out the general strategic directions in bilateral cooperation in the next five years.With the signing of the joint plan, the two countries are expected to forge cooperation in the following areas: political; trade, investment, and finance; agriculture and fisheries; food safety; tourism; defense and security; law enforcement and judicial; consular; cultural, education, and media; science and technology; regional and multilateral cooperation; and sustainable development.The country’s chief diplomat noted the consular agreement is the first pact signed by the Philippines after the Vienna Convention. …