BEIJING, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) — China vowed on Thursday to help with the Philippines‘ economic and social development ahead of the upcoming visit of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

Duterte will pay a state visit to China from Oct. 18 to 21 at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said China supports Duterte’s efforts to lead the Philippine people to develop their economy and is ready to participate in the country’s economic and social development.

“We hope to cooperate with the Philippines in such areas as trade, capacity and infrastructure construction,” Geng told a regular press briefing.

China believes the two countries should expand cooperation in various areas as their ties continue to improve, Geng said.

The nations should improve ties and carry out mutually beneficial cooperation for the common interests of both countries and peoples, he added.

Duterte and Xi will discuss improving bilateral ties, deepening cooperation and issues of common concern. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and top legislator Zhang Dejiang will also meet Duterte..

The trip will be Duterte’s first official visit to a foreign country outside ASEAN.

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