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Wang Yi Holds Talks with Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin

On January 16, 2021 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin in Manila.

Wang Yi said that China and the Philippines jointly celebrated the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations last year. Under the strategic guidance of the leaders of the two countries, we stood together to overcome difficulties. Our bilateral relations have withstood various tests, and the friendship between the two peoples has been strengthened in jointly combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. At the beginning of the year of 2021, the two sides should plan the year-round exchanges and cooperation as soon as possible with the focus on anti-pandemic efforts and economic recovery. The two countries should further increase common interests while dissolving differences, strengthen cooperation, and unswervingly follow the course charted by the leaders of the two countries, so that the comprehensive strategic cooperation between the two sides will bear more fruits to benefit the two countries and the two peoples.

Wang Yi said that China and the Philippines are friendly neighbors, and enjoy a long tradition of helping each other. China has decided to donate a batch of COVID-19 vaccines to the Philippines and encourages Chinese companies to seek vaccine cooperation with the Philippine side, so as to help the Philippines win the complete victory against the virus. Fruitful results have been achieved in major cooperation projects in recent years. The two countries have completed 11 projects while 12 others are in progress or in the pipeline, and 12 more are under negotiation. China is ready to further synergize the Belt and Road Initiative and the Philippines' "Build, Build, Build" program, accelerate trade liberalization and facilitation, strengthen cooperation on cross-border e-commerce and finance, and share development opportunities and development fruits.

Wang Yi said that the regional cooperation in East Asia gained momentum last year in spite of difficulties and achieved positive results. China appreciates the important role the Philippines, which serves as the country coordinator of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-China relations, has played in deepening the China-ASEAN ties. China is willing to strengthen coordination and cooperation with the Philippines to hold the commemorative activities with ASEAN countries to mark the 30th anniversary of the dialogue relations between China and ASEAN, upgrade China-ASEAN ties, forge a Blue Economy Partnership, put into force the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership at an early date, and enhance cooperation in connectivity, digital economy, data security and other fields. China is ready to speed up the progress of consultations on the Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea with ASEAN countries to work out the regional rules that are substantive, effective and consistent with international law, demonstrate the capabilities and wisdom of regional countries to jointly resolve the issues of the region, and make the South China Sea a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation.

Teodoro Locsin said the Philippines-China relationship is a mature one based on equality and mutual benefit between two sovereign countries, and one of the Philippines' most important bilateral relations as well. Under the guidance of the heads of state of the two countries, both sides have overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic and constantly advanced the cooperation in the areas including economy, trade and infrastructure, among others, showing the closeness of the bilateral relations. The Philippines thanks China for providing anti-pandemic supplies including vaccines and sharing anti-pandemic experiences to support its fight against COVID-19. The Philippines is looking forward to further strengthening the cooperation with China on COVID-19 vaccines, deepening mutual trust, enhancing cooperation, and jointly safeguarding regional peace and stability, so as to bring their ties of comprehensive strategic partnership to a new height. The Philippines is pleased to notice that the Chinese economy has swiftly recovered from the pandemic, and pointed out the global economic recovery needs China. The Philippines is willing to learn from China's experience in fostering a new development paradigm featuring dual circulation, promote cooperation and achieve common development. The Philippines is willing to work with China to advance the consultations on the COC, create synergy between the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 and the Belt and Road Initiative, and push for a steady growth of the ASEAN-China relations.

The two sides announced the launch of "fast tracks" for essential personnel exchanges.

Both sides also exchanged in-depth views on international and regional issues of common concern. After the meeting, the two sides witnessed the signing of cooperation documents and the ceremonial unveiling of a plaque to mark the establishment of Bank of China Manila as the Chinese currency renminbi (RMB) Clearing Bank of the Philippines.

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