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China assures PH: Disputed isles in South China Sea not collateral to loans

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China Foreign Ministry on Friday said China’s loan to the Philippines has “no strings attached” and would never be in bracket with the two states’ territorial dispute on the South China Sea.

This was in response to a Global Times column of a Chinese scholar, saying China loans are usually accompanied by repayment agreements, which use certain natural resources as collateral.

By convention, China Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said parts of China’s concessional loans do require the borrowers to use certain sovereign credit as collateral, whichwass an international practice.

But he stressed “China has never asked and will never ask relevant countries to use natural resources as collateral in loan agreements.”

Geng also pointed out that the view of the relevant scholar “only represents himself, not the official stance of the Chinese government.”

“In this vein, our assistance and support to the Philippines are provided with no strings attached,” he added.

Geng said it was in their interest to properly resolve the South China Sea issue, but China “will not link” the sea row with bilateral economic and trade cooperation projects.

Since the turnaround of China-Philippines relations in 2016, Geng said China has been actively helping the Philippines develop its economy and improve people’s livelihood.

“China stands ready to work with the Philippines to follow through on the consensus between the two leaderships and stay committed to properly resolving differences through dialogue and consultation, ensuring the sound and steady development of bilateral relations and jointly upholding regional peace and stability,” he ended. (PNA)