Duterte intends to visit China to thank Xi for vax donation

President Rodrigo Duterte said he intends to visit China before the end of the year to personally thank Chinese President Xi Jinping for the initial 600,000 doses of “CoronaVac” Covid-19 vaccines they donated to the Philippines on Sunday.

Addressing Chinese Ambassador to Manila Huang Xilian in a speech, Duterte said he wanted to thank Xi for making possible the delivery of the first Covid-19 vaccine doses to the Philippines which will be used to vaccinate healthcare workers and uniformed personnel.

“Mr. Ambassador, I’d like to just say that towards the — maybe at the end of the year, when everything has settled down — I intend to make a short visit to China to just shake hands with President Xi Jinping and to personally thank him for this donation. Thank you,” he said in a speech during the arrival ceremony of the Sinovac-made vaccines at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.

Duterte described China’s Covid-19 vaccine donation as a “gesture of friendship and solidarity”, which to him is the hallmark of Philippine-China partnership.

He noted that the Philippines is the only country to have the privilege of having the Covid-19 vaccine doses delivered instead of having to pick up the supply from China.

“I would like to just add that China has donated several vaccines to several countries. But it is only the donation made to the Philippines that was carried by a Chinese government plane. Iyong iba kinukuha doon sa China. Dito, hinatid sa atin (Others would have to pick them up from China. Here, it is delivered to us),” he said. PNA.GOV.PH