CHINA yesterday praised the Philippines on the smooth conduct of the May 9 presidential elections and congratulated presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and vice presidential candidate Sarah Duterte for leading the race.
Zhao Lijian, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson made this comment when asked during a regular press conference in Beijing.
“China congratulated the Philippines on the smooth presidential election. Our congratulations also go to the leading candidates. We hope and believe that various political forces in the Philippines will continue to work in solidarity for national renewal and development.”
He added that China and the Philippines, facing each other across the waters, enjoy a long-standing traditional friendship.
“We are good partners for mutually-beneficial cooperation and fellow travelers on the road to common development. Under the strategic guidance of our heads of state, bilateral relations have been steadily upgraded,” he said.
Zhao added the flourishing relationship between the two countries has delivered benefits to both peoples and contributed to regional peace and stability.
The spokesman stressed that China will continue to work together with the Philippines to stay committed to good-neighborliness and friendship, focus on post-COVID growth, expand win-win cooperation, and bring more tangible benefits to both peoples.
In the six years of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, China said it has delivered and donated 55 million vaccines, created over 100,000 new jobs with thousands of workers underwent training with China companies. There are also more than 300,000 Filipino workers in China who remit some ₱50 billion yearly.
Billions worth of new infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, water, dam, rail projects were either completed or still ongoing. The ₱8 billion donated bridges have been completed;
China also invested in the $3.5 billion steel plant to create 10,000 jobs; $5 billion investment to help improve internet in third Telecoms company; and expand education for millions of students and e-commerce for entrepreneurs.
Meanwhile, tourism jumped to 1.5 million, generating ₱100 billion plus in 2019.
China is now largest trade partner of the Philippines with $60 billion in 2020.
It also donated 10,000 tons of rice, 100,000 fish seeds, and schools. By CRISTINA LEE-PISCO