President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan will be accompanying him to watch a Gilas Pilipinas game in the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China.
“Samahan ako ng Vice President mismo ng China doon sa basketball. Biro mo? Totoo ‘yan (I will be accompanied by the Vice President of China himself to watch the basketball game. That’s true). It’s a break in protocol, siya mismo (he himself),” Duterte said in his speech during the oath-taking rites of newly-elected officers of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII) on Tuesday night.
Based on World Cup first round schedule, Gilas Pilipinas will battle Italy on Aug. 31, Serbia on Sept. 2 and Angola on Sept. 4. The games will be held at the International Sports and Cultural Arena in Foshan City.
Duterte did not mention which game he and the Chinese Vice President will watch but joked about the Philippine team losing against Italy and having a shot at beating Angola.
“Wala, talo tayo, walang laban. Sa China na lang tayo magpusta. We will lose sa Italy. Ang lalaki kaya ng mga gagong ‘yan (We will lose, we don’t have a chance. Let’s just bet on China. We will lose to Italy. They are too big),” Duterte said.
Duterte said he will also discuss the arbitral ruling with Chinese President Xi Jinping when he visits China for the fifth time by the end of August this year.
“Yung (The) arbitral ruling, pag-usapan natin ‘yan (let’s talk about that). That’s why I’m going to China. I’m not going to tell you the agenda. I’m going to China to talk. Did I not tell you before that before my term ends, we will be talking about China Sea?” Duterte said.
“I’m going there because there are now some… you know, mga sparkles [sic] which need to be addressed immediately. Ayaw ko ng away pati…may basketball doon ngayon eh (I don’t want a fight…and also, there’s a basketball game there now). World. FIBA,” he added.
Earlier, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte is interested to discuss the 60-40 sharing arrangement on the proposed joint exploration for oil and gas in the West Philippine Sea in his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Duterte will also raise the June 9 Recto Bank (Reed Bank) maritime incident where a Chinese vessel allegedly rammed and abandoned a Philippine fishing boat at sea, Panelo said.PNA