|State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi Meets Foreign Secretary Teodoro Lopez Locsin of the Philippines|
On 19 February, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Foreign Secretary Teodoro Lopez Locsin of the Philippines in Vientiane, Laos.
Wang said that as the Chinese people are going all out to control the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has voiced firm support for China on multiple occasions, and Foreign Secretary Locsin has refuted attacks and slanders against China with facts. The government and people from all sectors of the Philippines have made donations in cash and kind. China is deeply touched by what the Philippines has done as it fully demonstrates the profound, brotherly friendship between the two peoples. It is believed that emerging from the test of the epidemic, the friendship and trust between the two peoples will surely grow stronger and deeper. Wang expressed his appreciation to the Philippines for organizing and coordinating this special foreign ministers' meeting as the country coordinator for ASEAN-China relations. He also expressed his confidence that through joint efforts, tomorrow's meeting will be a smooth and successful one of solidarity. It will send a clear message of China and ASEAN standing together to tackle the common challenge and work to build new consensus on enhancing public health cooperation in the region. Wang said that China highly values its relations with the Philippines and will continue to support the Philippines in upholding its legitimate rights and interests on the international front.
Foreign Secretary Locsin handed over a letter from President Duterte to President Xi Jinping. He pointed out that the Philippine government and people firmly stand with the Chinese government and people, and extended high appreciation and support for the robust measures China has taken to fight the epidemic. He noted that those slanders against China are completely unjust. At this trying moment, the Philippines will be China's true friend. The Philippine side thanked China for its generous assistance when the Philippines was in need. Though modest in amount, the supply assistance from the Philippines demonstrates its people's friendship to China. Locsin said he was pleased to co-chair with China the special foreign ministers' meeting tomorrow and expressed his readiness to advance the solidarity and cooperation between ASEAN and China at this crucial moment.