China to Donate 500000 Covid Vaccine Doses to Philippines

18 Janvier, 2021, 13:27 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi right and Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. bump their elbows during a meeting in Manila Philippines

Amid rising resistance to Chinese products, Beijing has declared intentions to donate half a million coronavirus vaccine shots to the Philippines, Manila officials said on Saturday.

"The recovery of nations... sits on the back of stronger economies", Duterte told Wang.

"So let me emphasize that in the process of the Philippine people's response to Covid-19, China is a friend of the Philippines and your closest neighbor".

China plays an important role in promoting regional economic recovery, Duterte added.

Wang committed to completing China-funded infrastructure projects, saying agreements have been finalized on a $400 million bridge plan that will connect Samal Island to Duterte's home city Davao, and a $940 million cargo railway project linking Subic Bay freeport zone and Clark airport.

The commercial contract for the 71-kilometer (44-mile) cargo railway is valued at USA $940 million, "the highest funded G2G project between the two countries", Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian said in a statement announcing its signing.

According to Yang, more than 1 million doses of Sinovac have been used in China, it will be used in Indonesia and Turkey.

China has now made seven such grants to the Philippines since Duterte assumed office in 2016, and their total value is 24.16 billion pesos ($503 million).

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An agreement was also signed for a P3.72 billion grant from China for economic projects, infrastructure, and other negotiations between the two countries.

As for the ongoing dialogue to settle the South China Sea dispute, the Harvard-trained lawyer said that given "our two nations' abiding our maritime commons, it behooves us to show our ability to rise to the challenge of managing differences peacefully and in accordance with law, while making headway towards trust-building and practical concrete mutually beneficial cooperation".

Meanwhile, a representative of Sinovac, the Chinese company that developed one of the vaccines against COVID-19, insisted that their vaccine was effective, amid criticisms about it. But officials did not say when mass inoculations in the Philippines would start, how many doses of vaccine would be delivered, or when.

Nearly half a million people have been infected with the virus in the Philippines, with almost 10,000 fatalities. Myanmar, similarly, was scheduled to receive 300,000 doses of the vaccine.

"With your third visit to the Philippines and our meeting today - only three months since our most recent meeting in handsome Tengchong City in Yunnan Province - we demonstrate yet again the strong and manifold ties that bind the Philippines and China", Locsin said.

Recalling his trip to the Philippines, the foreign minister stressed cooperation on COVID-19 vaccines, economic recovery and the South China Sea issue.

The goal is to make the set of rules substantive and effective, align the code with worldwide law and show to the world that regional countries have the ability and wisdom to jointly solve the region's existing issues, Wang added.

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