China, Philippines to sign $13.5 billion in deals: Trade Secretary Lopez

A child holds national flags of China and the Philippines before President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte and China's President Xi Jinping attend a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, October 20, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

BEIJING (Reuters) - China and the Philippines will sign $13.5 billion in deals during President Rodrigo Duterte’s trip to China this week, the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said on Thursday.

Lopez made the comment at a business forum after Chinese President Xi Jinping met Duterte and said his “milestone” visit could help “fully improve” ties, which have suffered from a territorial dispute in the South China Sea.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard, Writing by Michael Martina; Editing by Nick Macfie