Philippines-China out to boost ties as Philippines Covid-19 total nears 499,000

hinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (right) and Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. bump their elbows during a meeting in Manila, Philippines, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. Wang is in Manila as part of his Southeast Asian tour that included visits to Myanmar, Indonesia, Brunei to promote China's relations in the region. - AP

MANILA, Jan 16 (Philippines Daily Inquirer/ANN): China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has arrived in the Philippines during his South-East Asian visit, and both countries are seeking to boost their cooperation and bilateral trade.

And aside from talking about cooperation on vaccines and regional recovery, South China Sea issues would also be important topics as the incoming Biden administration of the US may make more efforts to draw Southeast Asian countries, especially the Philippines, to challenge the waters, analysts said.

After visiting Myanmar, Indonesia and Brunei, Wang began his two-day visit in the Philippines on Friday (Jan 15). Wang was welcomed in Manila by Chinese Ambassador to the Philippine Huang Xilian, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Brigido Dulay, Chinese and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Protocol chief Porfirio Mayo.

“Cooperation on anti-virus and vaccines and how to work together for regional economic recovery would be the priorities for Wang’s meeting with leaders of the Philippines,” Chen Xiangmiao, an assistant research fellow at National Institute for South China Sea Studies, told the Global Times on Friday (Jan 16).

The Philippine government is working to get more vaccines considering the still increasing infections of Covid-19 globally.

The Department of Health (DOH) of the Philippines on Saturday reported 2,058 new confirmed Covid-19 cases, bringing the total number in the country to 498,691.

The death toll climbed to 9,884 after eight more patients died from the viral disease, the DOH said. It added 406 more patients recovered, raising the total number of recoveries to 460,133.

The Philippines, which has about 110 million population, has tested over 6.8 million people so far.

Meanwhile, DFA said Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr and Wanghad held a bilateral meeting “to consider ways to ramp up cooperation, particularly in the priority areas of trade and investments, infrastructure development and addressing the pandemic.”

Through all these cooperation, the mutual trust between the two countries would be deepened, which would also help keep up the good momentum in solving South China Sea disputes via peaceful negotiations without interference from non-claimants, analysts said. - The Philippines Daily Inquirer/Asian News Network

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Philippines , Covid-19 , Total Almost 499 , 000 , Wang Yi , Visit


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