China will donate 500,000 coronavirus vaccine doses to the Philippines and vowed to accelerate infrastructure investment in the Southeast Asian nation as ties between the two improve.
The pledge was made by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during meetings with Filipino counterpart Teodoro Locsin and President Rodrigo Duterte in Manila, according to statements from Duterte’s office and the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs.
“The recovery of nations sits on the back of stronger economies,” Duterte said. “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.”
Wang, who arrived in Manila, was on a week-long Southeast Asia trip that included stops in Indonesia and Myanmar. The Chinese foreign minister’s visit came amid lingering tensions in the South China Sea and ahead of the leadership change in the US.
China also agreed to provide a 500 million yuan ($77 million) grant to finance infrastructure projects among other things, according to the statements.
Wang committed to completing China-funded infrastructure projects, saying agreements have been finalised on a $400 million bridge plan that will connect Samal Island to Duterte’s home city Davao, and a $940 million cargo railway project linking Subic Bay freeport zone and Clark airport.