By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (File photo)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s state visit to China will proceed from Jan. 3 to 6, the Chinese Embassy in Manila confirmed Wednesday.

The Embassy in a text message said “preparation is going as planned” and no changes were made regarding the dates despite rising cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in China.

The Department of Health earlier said it sees no need for Marcos to delay his trip amid the outbreak as long as the delegation follows the recommended health protocol.

“Ang mga bisita po ng ating presidente sa ibang bansa ay importante para sa ating ekonomiya (The President’s visits to other countries are important to our economy) and if the precautions are there, he is fully vaccinated, and complying to (sic) minimum public health standard, the risk (of infection) would be very low,” DOH Officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said on Dec. 27.

The chief executive is flying to Beijing upon the invitation of President Xi Jinping.

In a presser Wednesday, the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII) said this visit is expected to reap economic benefits for the Philippines, especially as China has become the country’s close economic and trade partner in the past years.

FFCCCII president Henry Lim Bon Liong said the group will be joining the Philippine delegation in January.

“We believe this historic state visit is very important to the growth potentials of Philippine economy because China is our most important economic partner, the world’s emerging new economic superpower, and our neighbor,” he said.

“This state visit of the Philippines is a great opportunity to use our high level diplomacy to promote more Philippine business and economic cooperation with China,” he added.

He also expressed hopes the visit would also create progress in the terminated joint oil and gas exploration talks. (PNA)