President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his gratitude towards China for “loving” the Philippines.
“Let me publicly again thank President Xi Jinping and the Chinese people for loving us and giving us enough leeway to survive the rigors of economic life in this planet,” Duterte said on March 8 in front of a gathering of councilors in Pasay City.
This statement came after Duterte’s meeting with Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan on March 7, which led to economic deals worth billions with the Philippines.
Duterte said he heard from his economic advisers that the exports of mango, pineapple and banana to China have doubled since the Asian superpower gave permits to Philippine fruit-exporting companies during the Philippine leader’s state visit.
Duterte also showed off China’s aid to the Philippines.
“So it amounted to 10 billion dollars. Right away they handed to the finance people, 100 million. And another 100 million dollars for Surigao. Kita mo paano magbigay ng aid? One billion dollars, hindi pesos,” he said.
However, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez issued a clarification, as GMA News Online reported, about how Zhong’s confirmation of a new purchase agreement for Philippine agricultural products worth US$1 billion, business-to-business investment letters of intent valued at US$10 billion, grants and technical assistance worth 100 million yuan, and aid to Surigao earthquake victims worth US$1 million.
So, Duterte was mistaken in saying China is going to provide US$100 million to Surigao. The actual donation to help the Philippine’s rebuilding efforts in Surigao del Norte is US$99 million less.
Sources: ( gmanetwork.com , philstar.com , rappler.com , news.mb.com.ph )
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