|Wang Yi Holds Talks with Foreign Secretary Teodoro Lopez Locsin of the Philippines|
On October 10, 2020, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with Foreign Secretary Teodoro Lopez Locsin of the Philippines in Tengchong, southwest China's Yunnan Province.
Wang Yi welcomed Locsin to China and said that China and the Philippines are close neighbors and family members across the sea. Regardless of how the international situation will change, the two countries must be good friends forever because permanent friendship fully conforms to the two peoples' fundamental interests and common aspirations. He believes that the traditional friendship between Chinese and Philippine peoples will be further improved in our joint fight against the COVID-19 epidemic and that the China-Philippine relations will forge ahead during our joint response to challenges.
Wang Yi added, China will continue to firmly support the Philippines in its fight against the epidemic until the final victory and is willing to provide any necessary anti-epidemic supplies, share the experience in containing, diagnosing and treating the disease and actively engage in vaccine cooperation with the Philippines. The two countries will spur people-to-people exchanges on the premise of putting the epidemic under control, carry forward the resumption of work and production and bilateral cooperation on significant projects, work jointly against the practices of stigmatizing the epidemic and labeling the virus, and join hands to promote the international cooperation on fighting the epidemic.
Wang Yi emphasized, the firm mutual trust and friendship between the two presidents has chartered a strategic course for the improvement of the bilateral relations. China cherishes the development fruits of the relations with the Philippines. Both countries should remain committed to the policy of being on good terms with the other and continue with the cooperation across all fields so as to bring more benefits to the two peoples. China stands ready with the Philippines to promote the in-depth synergy of the Belt and Road Initiative with the "Build Build Build" infrastructure project campaign and to reach into more cooperation fields.
Noting that the two countries have accumulated a lot of useful experience in properly handling the South China Sea issue over the past four years which deserves to be cherished and promoted, Wang Yi hoped that both sides would continue to properly tackle differences through dialogue and cooperation and shelve the disputes to avoid affecting the hard-won momentum of improvement and development of bilateral relations. China is willing to work with the Philippines to promote the consultation on the Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea, and reach an early agreement on effective regional rules jointly recognized by China and ASEAN countries, so as to show the world that China and ASEAN countries have the ability and wisdom to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea and to turn the South China Sea truly into a sea of peace and cooperation.
Wang Yi thanked the Philippines for its contributions to advancing the cooperation between China and the ASEAN and said both countries should pool efforts to drive the construction of a "fast-track lane" network in the region, ensure the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement within this year, tap the cooperation on blue economy as a new growth area, prepare well for the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the China-ASEAN dialogue relations in 2021, accumulate rich results for the East Asian leaders' meetings on cooperation in the coming month and lift the China-ASEAN relations and the East Asian cooperation to a new high. China firmly supports the ASEAN in playing a leading role in regional cooperation and opposes any attempt to undermine the ASEAN's central position, as well as the regional peace and stability.
Wang Yi pointed out, China is following a road of development that is completely different from that of Western powers. While pursuing our own peaceful development, China is also seeking mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation with others to jointly build a community with a shared future for mankind. The development of China is a process of pursuing excellence. We do not have the willingness to compete with other countries for leadership but are focusing our efforts on dealing with our own business so that the 1.4 billion Chinese people can live better lives. The development of emerging economies such as China and the Philippines is an important part of the modernization of mankind as a whole. Our rights of development should not be deprived nor disrupted by other forces.
Locsin said, under the strong leadership of President Xi Jinping, China has successfully contained the epidemic and achieved rapid economic recovery, and continues to be the main engine of world economic growth. China's development is not accidental but a result of the country's profound civilization and strong leadership. Besides, China's development is not exclusive because it is benefiting and will benefit all countries around the world. The Philippines thanks China for providing anti-epidemic assistance and sharing the experience in preventing, controlling, diagnosing and treating the disease, and looks forward to vaccine cooperation with China. The Philippines fully understands and supports China's appropriate measures on Hong Kong-related and Xinjiang-related issues and insists on non-interference in the internal affairs of China by other countries. The Philippines is willing to work with China to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea, actively act as a coordinator in advancing the consultation on the COC in the South China Sea and support companies of the two countries in joint oil and gas development according to the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation on Oil and Gas Development between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines. The central position of the ASEAN in regional governance should be effectively defended, while all countries should respect each other and contribute jointly to the peaceful and stable development of the region.
The two foreign ministers reached an agreement on opening a "fast-track lane" for essential personnel exchanges in the anti-epidemic context and decided to introduce the lane as soon as possible.