China and the Philippines have agreed to join hands and work together to further develop the comprehensive strategic cooperative relationship between the two countries.

In his meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday, visiting Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua said that China is ready to work with the Philippines to implement the consensus reached between the top leaders of the two countries.

Hu said China has strong interests in cooperation with the Philippines on building the China-proposed Belt & Road Initiative and integrating the projects with the Philippines’ “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program.

“We should broaden our cooperation in trade and investment, strengthen our economic ties, fast-track our cooperation on important projects, and in this way can we harvest more substantial fruits of cooperation,” Hu said.

Hu also said China and the Philippines should strengthen cooperation on the regional and multilateral levels. He called for close communication and coordination on related issues.

“China is willing to encourage well-established entrepreneurship to expand investment in the Philippines and we also hope the Philippine government to further improve the domestic business environment and to provide more support and convenience to the business cooperation between the two countries,” Hu added.

Duterte, on his part, said the Philippines attaches great importance to Philippines-China relations. He said his country has been active in participating in the building of the Belt & Road Initiative.

Duterte called for closer cooperation in various fields between China and the Philippines, so as to further develop the comprehensive strategic cooperative relationship between the two countries.

During his stay in Manila, Hu, who is on a three-day visit to the Philippines, also held talks with Philippine officials led by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez.