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Consul General Jia Li contributes an article to the Freeman
2020-10-07

On Oct. 1st, The Freeman carried an article by Consul General Jia Li entitled Jointly opening a new charpter of cooperation in post-epidemic era. The full text is as follows:

October 1st this year marks the 71st anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. It also happens to be Chinese traditional Mid-Autumn Festival. On this special occasion, I would like to extend my sincere greetings to the Filipino people and overseas Chinese in the Visayas on behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Cebu.

This year has been tough since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The virus does not respect borders. Nor is race or nationality relevant in the face of the disease. It is during the pandemic that we feel at most the necessity of building a community with a shared future for mankind. Unity and cooperation are the most powerful weapon for the international community against the disease.

This year also marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the Philippines. Under the leadership of President Xi Jinping and President Duterte, China-Philippines comprehensive strategic cooperation relations have developed significantly. Confronted by the ravages of COVID-19, the two governments and our people have fully demonstrated a partnership of mutual support. At the most difficult moment of the pandemic in China, the Philippine government and its people offered valuable support and assistance to China. After the outbreak of the pandemic in the Philippines, China did its best to provide support to the Philippines. This is a manifestation of the profound friendship between China and the Philippines.

To help with the battle against the virus in Visayas, the Chinese Consulate General in Cebu, the sisterhood provinces and cities in China, the Filipino-Chinese communities and Chinese-invested enterprises, overcame difficulties in procurement and transportation of the goods and spared no efforts to donate supplies. The Consulate General donated 72,000 kilograms of rice to frontliners and impoverished residents, and one ambulance to the Cebu Provincial Government and DOH-7 Office respectively. In total, the sisterhood provinces and cities in China and the Filipino-Chinese communities donated 92,000 kilograms of rice; 410,000 medical masks; 30,000 N95 masks; and large quantities of alcohol, PPE kits to Cebu. In addition to donations, Chinese-invested enterprises are also highly concerned about the physical and mental health of their local employees, and pay wages on time. About 80% of the projects have resumed, making positive contributions to employment rate stability.

At present, China has basically blocked local transmission of the virus, and the economy has continued to recover steadily with a positive outlook. In the second quarter, the GDP grew by 3.2%. While restoring its own economy, China will unswervingly expand its opening up and work hand in hand with other countries in the world to jointly promote global trade and revival of the world's economy. China and the Philippines are highly complementary in economy, and will continue to strengthen the synergies between the Belt and Road initiative and the Build, Build, Build program. Now the two sides are working closely to establish a "fast lane" for the movement of the key personnel and trying our utmost to help the projects resume its full capacity.

New industries and business models have been engendered in the course of global response to COVID-19, such as virtual offices, online education and tele-health. Their value to economy and society has emerged. China is willing to strengthen cooperation with the Philippines in 5G, big data and artificial intelligence, and push forward the building of the digital Silk Road as well as green Silk Road to advance high-quality development all together.

China has made important progress in development of covid-19 vaccine. It will be made a global public good when available. This will be China's contribution to ensuring vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries. China is willing to give priority to the needs of the Philippines.

"A friend in need is a friend in deed." To face the pandemic, China and the Philippines have supported each other and overcome the difficulties in solidarity. In post-epidemic era, it is hoped that the two countries will continue to strengthen cooperation, strive to overcome the epidemic as early as possible, and open a new chapter of win-win cooperation. Lastly, I would like to express my wishes of the prosperity and long-lasting friendship of our two countries, as well as good health and fortune of our two people.

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