2-M more Sinovac jabs to arrive next week: Chinese envoy

Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 10 2021 10:56 PM

MANILA — The Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines on Friday said another batch of 2 million doses of Beijing-donated Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines will arrive in the Philippines next week.

Chinese ambassador Huang Xilian, during a holiday reception with the media, congratulated the Philippines for its “great achievement” in fighting the pandemic,” saying that the country “has effectively controlled COVID-19, given the lower daily number of new cases. 

“Chinese vaccines have not only been the first COVID-19 vaccine to arrive in the Philippines but have also become the major source of vaccination in this country. At the time when some developed countries had offered nothing but superficial lip service, the first batch of Chinese vaccines arrived in the Philippines as early as February this year," he said.

"Since then, China has supplied more than 55 million vaccine doses to the Philippines through commercial procurement and donation."

Sinovac jabs comprise more than half of the Philippines COVID-19 vaccine chest.

PH-CHINA RELATIONS

Huang meanwhile hailed the “closer” status of Philippine-China relations, citing progress in bilateral trade and investment cooperation, government to government and livelihood projects, saying differences between the two countries have not affected the “overall relationship.”

“I always believe that the Philippines’ future will be deeply rooted in its own national development, in a stable and amicable neighborhood, in a peaceful and prosperous Asian region. As close neighbor, China and the Philippines have thousands of reasons to seek peaceful coexistence and mutually beneficial cooperation,” he said.

The envoy said, "it is normal to have differences even among best friends and neighbors." 

"What matters is how we handle and manage differences in the spirit of seeking common ground while shelving differences."

Tensions between the two countries spiked last month after Chinese coast guard vessels blocked and fired water cannons at boats that were going to deliver fresh supplies to Filipino marines stationed in Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.

Top officials from both sides engaged in a word war, as other countries like the US, Japan and Australia expressed concern over the incident, again the importance of peace and stability in the South China Sea, within which is the West Philippine Sea.

Despite a 2016 ruling by The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration that invalidated China's expansive claims in the South China Sea, Beijing has aggressively encroached and conducted military activities in the disputed waters.

The United States, a defense treaty ally of the Philippines, has slammed China's "actions asserting its expansive and unlawful South China Sea maritime claims," saying these "undermine peace and security in the region."

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