By Prince Golez
President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday lauded the continued high-level engagement between the Philippines and China even amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Duterte made the remark during the 40-minute courtesy call of China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi at Malacañang.
The Chief Executive stressed the need to strengthen cooperation on public health to ensure access to safe and effective vaccines to safeguard public health and to hasten the economic recovery of both countries and 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,” he said.
For his part, Wang reaffirmed China’s commitment to support the Philippines’ efforts to combat Covid-19 and announced that his country will donate 500,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine to the Philippines.
The official also expressed China’s continued support for the Philippines’ recovery through enhanced economic cooperation.
He likewise reiterated China’s determination to complete pending infrastructure projects under the Build, Build, Build program such as the finalization of the Samal Island-Davao City Connector Project and the Subic-Clark Railway Project agreements this week.
Also present at the courtesy call were Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr., Ambassador of the Philippines to the People’s Republic of China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana, Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs and Chief of Presidential Protocol Robert Borje, Finance Undersecretary Mark Dennis Joven, and Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Nathaniel Imperial.
The Chinese delegation included Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China 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 Vice Chairman Deng Boqing.