Xi hails strong relations with Philippines

Source:China Daily Editor:Huang Panyue 2021-08-28 17:18:27

President also has telephone talks with Portuguese, Malawian heads of state

President Xi Jinping said on Friday that Beijing is willing to work with Manila to ensure that bilateral relations maintain sustainable development along the right track, as he spoke by telephone with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

Xi said that China-Philippines relations, after going through a turnaround, consolidation and elevation over the past several years, have brought concrete benefits to the people in both countries and given positive momentum to regional peace and stability.

China highly values developing its relations with the Philippines and Xi said he would keep close contact with Duterte to frequently exchange views on important issues of concern.

Xi said that China will continue to strengthen anti-pandemic cooperation with the Philippines and provide assistance within its ability as it is the top priority for all countries to win the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and resume economic growth.

Given that the alignment of the Belt and Road Initiative with the Philippine government's massive infrastructure construction scheme has achieved significant outcomes, Xi said that Beijing will work with Manila to push for the implementation of more cooperative projects and let the two peoples benefit further from bilateral cooperation.

Duterte said that the Philippines appreciates China's contribution to leading global solidarity to fight the pandemic and welcomes more Chinese investment in Philippine construction projects.

Noting that the Philippines cherishes its friendship with China, he said his country will not do things that harm China's interests in geopolitics and will actively promote the sustainable development of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' relations with China.

Xi also held phone conversations with Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera on Friday.

When speaking with his Portuguese counterpart, Xi said that China has so far provided over 900 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to more than 100 countries, especially developing countries, and will continue to support Portugal in the fight against the virus in order to build a global community of health for all.

Since all countries in the world face common challenges such as the pandemic and climate change, Xi called on China and Portugal, which are both ancient civilizations, to strengthen communication and jointly deal with the challenges.

As an advocate of world peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of the international order, China stands ready to work with all peace-loving countries, including Portugal, to promote respect for all countries to independently choose their own systems and development paths, Xi said.

He also said that China hopes the European nation will play a positive role in promoting China's relations with the European Union.

Rebelo de Sousa said his country will jointly support the role of the United Nations with China and strengthen communication and coordination under multilateral frameworks such as the Group of Twenty.

China has significant influence on regional hotspot issues such as the Afghan issue and Portugal supports China playing a bigger role in this regard, he said.

In the phone conversation with his Malawian counterpart, Xi expressed China's willingness to strengthen cooperation with the African country to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that he hopes the vaccines provided by China could play a positive role in Lilongwe's fight against the virus.

Xi said that China appreciates Malawi's adherence to the one-China policy and supports the country independently exploring a development path that meets its national conditions. China will continue to provide help and support within its ability for Malawi's economic and social development, he said.

Chakwera said Malawi expected to strengthen practical cooperation with China in areas such as infrastructure and deepening cooperation under the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

His country opposes interference in other country's internal affairs by using human rights issues as an excuse and rejects the politicization of COVID-19 origin tracing, he said.