Statement of the Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines on US Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland Discrediting China-Philippines Economic and Trade Cooperation
2023-03-10 11:11

Q: During her visit to the Philippines, US Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland said that the four additional military sites in the Philippines to which the US forces would have access under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) would not only help address security concerns in the region but also bring “economic opportunities, jobs” to their host communities. Having said that she also questioned how many of China’s promises have actually been converted to jobs, to climate investments that bring benefit to the Philippine people. What’s the comment from the Chinese Embassy?

A: China and the Philippines are natural partners for the geographical proximity, close kinship, and complementary advantages. In recent years, under the strategic guidance of the two heads of state, China and the Philippines have deepened the synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and the “Build, Build, Build” and “Build Better More” Programs of the Philippines. Around 40 government-to-government cooperation projects have been completed or are in progress, including Binondo-Intramuros Bridge, Davao-Samal Bridge and Chico River Pump Irrigation Project, bringing tangible benefits to the two peoples. China remains the Philippines’ largest trading partner, largest source of imports, largest export destination and third largest source of foreign investment under agreements, which has effectively promoted the post-pandemic economic recovery and prosperity of the two countries.

Earlier this year, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s state visit to China has yielded productive results. 14 intergovernmental cooperation agreements have been signed in the fields of the Belt and Road Initiative, agriculture and fisheries, finance, customs, e-commerce, tourism, etc. According to the Philippine statistics, the business circles of the two countries have inked deals of intention of investment and trade worth of a total of $22.8 billion and procurement plans worth of nearly $2.1 billion. The export of fresh Philippine durians to China alone is expected to generate up to 10,000 direct and indirect job opportunities in farming, packing and logistics chain in the Philippines. Since the state visit many Chinese business delegations are coming to the Philippines, reaching extensive agreements on expanding trade and investment cooperation between the two countries, demonstrating the huge potential and broad prospects of China-Philippines practical cooperation.

Economy and trade cannot flourish without a peaceful and stable regional environment. However, some Americans claim that the four additional military sites in the Philippines to which US forces would have access under the EDCA would bring “economic opportunities, jobs” to their host communities, and discredit China-Philippines economic cooperation at the same time. Such remarks are in total ignorance of the Philippine people’s pursuit of peace, cooperation, and development as well as China-Philippines helping each other in developing economy, improving people’s livelihood, and increasing employment. Creating economic opportunities and jobs through military cooperation is tantamount to quenching thirst with poison and gouging flesh to heal wounds. Such cooperation will seriously endanger regional peace and stability and drag the Philippines into the abyss of geopolitical strife and damage its economic development at the end of the day. We hope that the Philippine people can tell the selfish interests and zero-sum mentality of the United States to provoke a new cold war in this region. History will judge who is the reliable partner of the Philippines for mutual assistance and common development, and who is a passer-by that instigates and fans discordance in this region.

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