MANILA (UPDATE) — President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councilor Wang Yi met at Malacañang on Saturday after Wang sat down with Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) officials.
In a 3-minute video released by RTVM, Duterte and Wang could be seen shaking hands during the courtesy call before disinfecting as part of COVID-19 protocols.
The courtesy call lasted for 40 minutes, according to a statement released by the President's Office.
"President Duterte lauded the continued high-level engagement between the Philippines and China even amid the ongoing global pandemic and stressed the importance of both sides delivering on the promises of the Comprehensive Strategic Cooperation," the statement read.
The President also emphasized the importance of boosting public health cooperation. This includes the access to safe and effective vaccines to fast track economic recovery of the two countries and the 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,” Duterte was quoted as saying.
Wang, meanwhile, stressed China's commitment under President Xi Jinping for closer relations with the country to "sustain the positive trajectory of the valued and special bilateral relations."
Watch more on iWantTFC Video courtesy of RTVM.
Among those present at the courtesy call were Foreign Affairs Chief Teodoro Locsin Jr., Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian, Ambassador of the Philippines to the People’s Republic of China Jose Santiago "Chito" Sta. Romana, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., Sen. Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go, and Rep. Allan Peter Cayetano.
Wang arrived on Friday for a bilateral meeting with Locsin Saturday, as the two governments signed a grant agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation worth P3.72 billion, China's 7th grant to the country since 2016.
This is the foreign minister's 3rd visit to the Philippines.
The DFA also announced China's intention to donate some 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine as part of President Xi's commitment to Duterte.
Earlier in the day, the country and China signed the Subic-Clark railway project’s commercial contract worth $940 million, considered one of the “highest-funded” deals between the two nations.