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Friday, March 13, 2020

President Duterte tackles PH-China economic cooperation, coronavirus fight

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte discusses matters with Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the Philippines Huang Xilian who paid a courtesy call on the President at the MalacaƱan Palace on March 11, 2020. ALBERT ALCAIN/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Wednesday received China Ambassador Huang Xilian, stressing the importance of continued economic cooperation as well as working together to addresses challenges posed by the spread of COVID-19.

During the call in Malacanang, President Duterte acknowledged China’s continued support to the socio-economic agenda of his administration.

The President told the Chinese ambassador that he hopes that as the Philippines and China mark the 45th year of diplomatic ties this June, China will continue to extend support and fast track infrastructure development.

He looks forward to a more robust trade with China, with a greater and improved access for Philippine exports to the Chinese market.

China’s investment to the Philippines rose significantly in 2018 at P50.69 billion (US$ 962 million), which is far higher than the P2.33 billion (US$ 46.30 million) recorded in 2017.

Huang reaffirmed China’s commitment for a deeper cooperation with the Philippines especially in infrastructure development. He noted the steady progress in the joint infrastructure projects over the past two years.

With regards to the fast-spreading COVID-19, President Duterte extended sympathies to the Chinese people affected by the recent outbreak.

He extended the Philippines’ solidarity with China and the international community in addressing the global public health emergency. The Philippine government donated 52 boxes of emergency medical and food supplies to Wuhan.

President Duterte has noted President Xi Jinping’s handling of the health emergency.

As a response, Huang expressed solidarity with the Philippine government in its efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. The Chinese ambassador also conveyed China’s readiness to extend assistance.

With President Duterte’s strong leadership, and with the help of the Interagency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, the government will emerge victorious in its fight against the virus, Huang said.

In China, the envoy said President Xi is taking rigorous epidemic control measures to contain the spread of the virus outside the country.

President Duterte also extended his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives after a quarantine facility in Quanzhou, Fujian, collapsed last week.

He conveyed his wishes for the swift recovery of those who were injured.

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