China open to 'technical discussions' on infra projects
MANILA (2nd UPDATE)—China is "open" for technical discussions with the Philippine government after a Transport official revealed several infrastructure projects remain unfunded, a spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines said.
President Ferdinand Bonbong Marcos Jr had also ordered officials to renegotiate deals with the Chinese government, DOTr Usec. Cesar Chavez earlier said.
Several China-funded infrastructure projects under the Build, Build Build program have been stalled including the Laguna to Bicol, Clark to Subic, and the Mindanao Railway.
"China is open for technical discussions over our G-to-G projects, and is ready to carry our cooperation forward, in close communication with the Philippine new administration," the statement from the Chinese Embassy in Manila said.
"China will tap its own advantage and support the Philippines to improve its infrastructure. Our two sides have been negotiating technical issues and made positive progress to move the projects forward," it added.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin reaffirmed Beijing's support for the Philippines' infrastructure projects.
"Infrastructure cooperation is a highlight in the practical cooperation between China and the Philippines in the past six years. We have jointly completed key projects such as bridges and dams. The construction of more projects, including three railways, are well underway. China welcomes President Marcos’s instruction to the responsible department on discussing with China on the projects," Wang said in a press conference in Beijing.
"We will coordinate seamlessly with the new Philippine government on this, move the projects forward, explore new projects while implementing existing ones, and launch more projects that will set new benchmarks for our cooperation and help upgrade Philippine infrastructure in both traditional and emerging sectors," he said.
The transcript of Wang's press conference can be seen here.
Meanwhile, some big ticket infrastructure projects funded by Japan and the Asian Development Bank have broken ground and currently under construction including the Metro Manila Subway project, the South Commuter Railway an the Malolos-Clark railway.