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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

China, Philippines reiterate importance of cooperation in fight vs COVID-19

President Duterte welcomes Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi to Malacañang

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte received State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in a courtesy call at Malacañang late Saturday afternoon.

In a statement from the Office of the President, he lauded the continued high-level engagement between the Philippines and China despite the ongoing global pandemic and underscored the importance of both sides delivering on promises of the Comprehensive Strategic Cooperation.

President Duterte emphasized that cooperation on public health must be further strengthened, particular access to safe and effective vaccines, to safeguard the health of peoples and in order to hasten the economic recovery of both countries the larger region.

“The recovery of nations … sits on the back of stronger economies. China plays a very key role in reviving our region’s economy. Let us do all we can to revive economic activities between the Philippines and China,” President Duterte said.

He likewise expressed his appreciation for China’s continuing support and cooperation in the country’s fight against COVID-19 in terms of medical equipment and supplies and sharing of experiences and expertise as well as in the repatriation of Filipino nationals.

Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi reiterated China’s commitment to support the Philippines’ efforts in its battle against COVID-19.

The visiting diplomat said China will donate 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to the Philippines as he affirmed China’s resolve to do everything to ensure that vaccines become a global good.

He likewise declared China will continue to support the Philippines’ recovery through enhanced economic cooperation.

He positively responded to President Duterte’s call to prioritize infrastructure and reiterated the significance of China’s support for the Build, Build, Build program, China’s top diplomat said China is determined to complete pending infrastructure projects.

He announced the finalization of the Samal Island-Davao City connector project and the Subic-Clark Railway Project agreements this week.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang emphasized China’s commitment under President Xi Jinping to work closely with the Philippines to maintain the positive trajectory of the valued and special bilateral relations.

Top Philippine government officials joined President Duterte during the meeting. The other officials were Foreign Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. Philippine Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana and senior lawmakers.

The Chinese delegation included Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian, Ministry of Commerce Vice Minister Qian Keming, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Assistant Minister Wu Jianghao and China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) Vice Chairman Deng Boqing.

The courtesy call lasted for 40 minutes. (Melo M. Acuña)

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (center) arrives in Malacanang late Saturday afternoon for his courtesy call on President Rodrigo Duterte. To his right is Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian. (Screen grab from RTVM/PCOO Live Feed/Melo M. Acuna)

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