China intends to donate 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the Philippines
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi informed Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr in their bilateral meeting Saturday.
This was'' in keeping with President Xi (Jinping)’s commitment to President Rodrigo Duterte,'' a statement by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
Locsin thanked Wang for China’s assistance to the Philippines’ public health response since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic ''by way of in-kind and equipment donation, as well as the sharing of best practices and know-how through medical experts.''
Locsin and Wang met in Taguig City, highlighting a two-day official visit by the latter that began Friday.
Taking stock of the 45-year-old bilateral partnership, the ministerial talks covered a full agenda on enhancing the relationship, which had been elevated to the level of Comprehensive Strategic Cooperation during the State visit of President Xi Jinping to the Philippines in November 2018.
With both countries at a crucial stage in curbing COVID-19 and responding to the new strain, the two ministers continued discussions started last year on cooperation to surmount the pandemic in terms of containment, vaccines, and economic revitalization.
The two ministers committed to step-up collaboration on infrastructure projects under the Build Build Build program to deliver on commitments.
Locsin and Wang said differences on contentious maritime issues do not represent the entirety of the Philippines-China bilateral relationship.
Both sides renewed their commitment to mutual respect, managing issues peacefully and in accordance with international law, and exploring areas for possible cooperation.
In surveying security developments in the region, the two ministers also discussed cooperation within ASEAN-led frameworks and agreed on the importance of preserving and promoting regional peace, stability and security.
At the conclusion of their meeting, Locsin and Wang witnessed the signing of the Philippines-China Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation by Finance Undersecretary Mark Joven and China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) Vice Chair Deng Boqing.
The agreement makes available a grant of 500 million RMB to finance livelihood projects, infrastructure facilities, feasibility studies for major projects and other mutually agreed projects.
They also witnessed the ceremonial unveiling of a plaque to mark the designation of the Bank of China’s Manila Branch as Renminbi Clearing Bank in the Philippines led by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno and Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian.
The launch of the Renminbi clearing facility will help boost the country’s financial sector and improve trading rates for participating Philippine banks.
Wang’s visit reciprocates Locsin’s visit to Tengchong City, Yunnan, China, in October 2020. DFA