China Head Addresses Jint Session; to Meet with PP Head on Security, Trade, & Investments
Byline: BEN R. ROSARIO
Congress to bestow top award on Hu
Chinese President Hu Jintao will address the Joint Session of the Congress of the Philippines at 4 p.m. today with leading lawmakers in the country expressing hopes that the event will further fortify the bilateral relations and other fields of cooperation between the Philippines and the Peoples Republic of China.
Congressmen, led by Speaker Jose de Venecia, will present the Congressional Medal of Achievement to President Hu a few minutes before addressing Congress. The congressional award is the highest honor bestowed by the House of Representatives to a visiting state leader.
De Venecia said he sees no other hitches in the preparation for Hus address, saying that it will be as successful as last weeks joint session address of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.
He and Senate President Franklin Drilon are optimistic President Hu will take the opportunity to discuss with solons issues on economic cooperation and other topics that bind the interests of the two countries.
The two Congress leaders sent a joint formal invitation to Hu to address the Philippine Congress on May 16 last year.
"We believe, Mr. President, that such a Joint Session will make a good forum to push for comprehensive development of our ties, which encompass the areas of economic cooperation and development, bilateral trade and investment, defense and counter-terrorism intelligence and judicial assistance in drug control and transnational crimes," Drilon and De Venecia said in their invitation.
The Chinese leader will be honored by the Lower House for his accomplishments in fighting poverty in his country which is a task that has been placed high on the list of priorities of the Arroyo government for Filipinos.
De Venecia said that under President Hus administration, at least 300 million Chinese have been lifted from poverty.
The PROC chief executive will be the third top world leader to speak before Filipino lawmakers since 2003.
US President George W. Bush addressed Philippine Congress in 2003 while Musharraf spoke before Filipino solons last Tuesday.
Deputy Secretary General Noel Albano said President Hu, who is on a three-day state visit in the Philippines, will address solons in Mandarin but a simultaneous interpretation will be conducted.
According to Albano, security within and outside the Batasan Pambansa complex in Quezon City will be tight as the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines assured the mobilization of hundreds of uniformed men to safeguard the visiting Chinese delegation. …