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China’s foreign envoy to discuss trade with Filipino counterpart

CHINA’S state councilor and foreign minister will visit the Philippines this week to advance priority areas of cooperation including trade and investment, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. had invited Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi for a bilateral meeting on trade and investment, infrastructure development and efforts to battle the coronavirus pandemic, the agency said in a statement on Sunday evening.

“Together with their virtual meeting in July last year, the state councilor’s visit attests to the sustained high-level engagement of the two countries,” DFA said. “It also symbolizes the determination and steady progress of both sides toward gradually reopening their societies and economies.”

Mr. Wang’s visit reciprocates Mr. Locsin’s visit to China in October, the agency said. Mr. Wang will also meet with his counterparts in Myanmar, Indonesia and Brunei before he arrives in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, a senator on Monday asked the Chinese government to investigate the entry of unauthorized coronavirus vaccines in the Philippines.

“China must explain,” Senator Risa N. Hontiveros-Baraquel said in a statement. “Beijing should lead their own inquiry and submit pertinent information to Philippine agencies.”

She said China’s action might lead to increased confidence from the international community in China-made coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines.

“Transparency from their end could raise the public trust in China-made vaccines, not only in the Philippines but also across the world,” she said. — Charmaine A. Tadalan

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