Philipphines President, Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, September 16, met with the officials of the Communist Party of China (CPC) led by Chongqing party chief Chen Min’er at the Malacañan Palace. The Palace, in a press statement, said Duterte had a tête-à-tête with Chen and other CPC members when they paid a courtesy call on the President at the Malacañan’s Music Room.

Malacañang dubbed Chen, a protégé of Chinese President Xi Jinping, as a “rising political star in China.” Chen became the Communist Party Secretary of Chongqing, one of China’s leading cities, in 2017. He also joined the 25-member Politburo, the CPC’s top decision-making body and served as the head of the provincial department of propaganda and vice governor of Zhejiang province.

Chen became Guizhou’s governor in 2013 before being promoted as provincial communist party secretary. Ambassador of China to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua, Vice Minister of the International Department- CPC Central Committee Guo Yezhou, Executive Vice Mayor of Chongqing Municipal People’s Government and Secretary General of CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee Wang Fu accompanied Chen at Malacañan Palace.

Also present during the meeting were Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) president and Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, PDP-Laban vice chairman and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, PDP-Laban vice president for international affairs and Cagayan Economic Zone Authority Secretary Raul Lambino.

Other government officials who welcomed China’s communist leaders were Foreign Affairs acting Secretary Jose Eduardo Malaya III, and Senators Christopher Lawrence Go and Francis Tolentino.