China-PH cooperation on infra, agri, energy to continue

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

July 16, 2022, 4:59 pm

MANILA – The cooperation between China and the Philippines under the Marcos administration will center on agriculture, infrastructure, energy, and cultural exchanges, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin, in a July 15 statement, said the two nations made the commitment during the official visit of Foreign Minister Wang Yi to Manila last week.

"The two sides agreed to conduct cooperation in the four key areas of large-scale agriculture, infrastructure, energy, and cultural and people-to-people exchanges to enhance friendship and cooperation," Wang said. "The Chinese side will support the Philippines in its efforts to achieve food self-sufficiency and agricultural modernization, strengthen conventional and hi-tech infrastructure, and improve its energy structure, so as to generate more tangible benefits to the Philippine people and also the Chinese people."

He said China stresses the "importance to view things from a strategic and overall perspective, set aside disputes, and use political wisdom to advance joint development and make the pie of cooperation bigger."

"Both sides stressed that the South China Sea issue is not the sum total of bilateral relations. We cannot afford to allow specific differences to define our relationship or allow individual disputes to interfere with overall cooperation," Wang said.

The diplomat said the Philippine side "responded positively and expressed readiness to carry out candid exchanges" with the Chinese side to find a "friendly" solution to the issue and jointly safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea.

During his July 5-6 trip to the Philippines, Wang paid courtesy calls on President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Vice President Sara Duterte, Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo, National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos, and other ranking government officials. (PNA)