Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will be in Manila from January 15 to 16 in a visit aimed at bolstering economic, trade, and health cooperation with the Philippines amid the global pandemic, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Sunday.
The visit reciprocates Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin’s official trip to China in October 2020, a DFA statement said.
Specific details on Wang's trip were not provided, but the the DFA said he will hold a bilateral meeting with Locsin "to consider ways to accelerate mutually beneficial cooperation, particularly in the priority areas of trade and investments, infrastructure development and addressing the pandemic."
"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," the DFA said.
"It also symbolizes the determination and steady progress of both sides toward gradually re-opening their societies and economies."
Two Chinese pharmaceutical firms, Sinopharm and Sinovac Biotech, are planning to apply for emergency use approval of their COVID-19 vaccines in the Philippines.
Some members of the Presidential Security Group were inoculated with Chinese-made vaccines even without state regulatory approval.
The move met public criticism and prompted calls from lawmakers for an investigation on the illegal action.
However, the vaccinations were backed by President Rodrigo Duterte, saying he will block attempts to launch a congressional inquiry. — DVM, GMA News