Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi reaffirmed China’s commitment to help the Philippines fight the COVID-19 pandemic, with a promise to donate 500,000 vaccines and a P3.72 billion economic and technical cooperation grant agreement to finance livelihood and infrastructure projects.
He paid a courtesy call on President Rodrigo Duterte Saturday before concluding his two-day official visit in the country as part of his three-nation Southeast Asian swing.
Wang also held bilateral talks with his counterpart, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., who cited China’s crucial role in the post-pandemic recovery of the Philippines and the global economy.
“China’s powerful economy and the biggest consumer middle class in history of 800 million impart to her an essential indeed imperative role in the post-pandemic global recovery. Even in the resurgence of the pandemic worldwide and even in China, China has already recovered the gains she lost,” Locsin said.
Wang, for his part, underscored the importance of a mutually-beneficial cooperation between the two countries.
“Standing at this new starting point of 2021, facing challenges beyond COVID-19, it is important for us to make an early plan of our interactions and cooperation for the whole year, shelve differences and build common ground, work closely with each other to firmly move forward along the course, and create more fruitful outcomes for our comprehensive strategic and cooperative relationship,” Wang said in his speech delivered in Mandarin.
“COVID response and economic recovery will be the top two priorities for both of our countries... China as a friend of the Philippines and your closest neighbor, we will firmly stand with the people of the Philippines until the defeat of this virus,” he added.
As for Wang’s announcement on the vaccine donation, the Department of Foreign Affairs said it up to the donor to determine from which companies the vaccine will come from.
“China has said it will take into consideration our side’s needs,” the DFA said without going into details.
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by manilastandard.net readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of manilastandard.net. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.