China vows help for Mindanao infra, power projects

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi speaks during an expanded bilateral meeting with Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. in Davao City on October 29, 2018. MANMAN DEJETO

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/ 30 Oct) – The Chinese government has signified interest to provide technology, financing and other resources for Mindanao’s effort to develop its power generation capability, infrastructure, connectivity and rebuild Marawi City, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

Wang made the statement during a joint press conference with Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin in Davao Monday.

The Chinese official said Mindanao will become an important link in China-Philippines cooperation.

Wang boasted of China’s technology and capability in developing thermal, hydro, solar, wind and nuclear sources of power.

He said Chinese companies had been extending help to Latin America and Africa to resolve energy issues.

He added there’s no reason why it could not help the Philippines, which he referred to as “our close neighbor and good friend.”

He noted the importance of energy, the driving force for the country’s development and industrialization, as China encountered similar power challenges when it was just developing.

Anti-terrorism cooperation

“China is ready for counter terrorism cooperation with Philippines, take an active part in post conflict reconstruction in Marawi so that the local communities will again enjoy a peaceful and tranquil life,” Wang said.

Marawi, the country’s lone Islamic City, was destroyed by five months of fighting between government forces and Islamic State-inspired militants last year.

Wang said China was among the first countries to give military aid when the battle of Marawi broke out on May 23 last year, and had provided some 200 million renminbi yuan or equivalent to P1.54 billion for the post-conflict reconstruction.

It was American warfare technology, however, that proved pivotal to the Philippine military’s effort to defeat the militants.

On connectivity, Wang said China “will take an active part in the construction of Mindanao railway and help improve the internal connectivity of the Mindanao region.”

“We look forward to further increasing interactions between Mindanao and China, so that the development potentials of this region will be further unleashed and act as new momentum for friendship between China and Philippines,” he said.

Wang arrived in the city on Sunday and graced the opening of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China.

On his second day, Wang held bilateral discussions with key government officials at the Marco Polo Hotel Davao where they signed the Exchange of Letters on the Feasibility Study of the Davao River Bridge Project (Bucana), the Handover Certificate of Law Enforcement-Related Materials/Equipment, and the Handover Certificate of Emergency Humanitarian Assistance.

Locsin said Wang’s two-day first visit to Davao gave greater momentum to the ongoing engagement between Manila and Beijing.

He said they discussed with Chinese officials how to further advance bilateral cooperation.

“We are pleased with the results of our meeting and we look forward to the continued development of our bilateral relations to the mutual benefit of our two great peoples,” the Secretary added. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)