Journal : Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) Date : Author : NA Page No. : NA

Extracts from Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang’s Regular Press Conference on March 9, 2018

Q: Recently, the English version of the Global Times cited a Chinese scholar’s view that China is willing to provide assistance as the Philippine government proposed a large-scale investment plan to develop its economy. The loans provided by China are usually accompanied by repayment agreements, which will use certain natural resources as collateral. Could you confirm that? And the Philippine media said that China provides loans with terms that require the Philippines to compromise on the South China Sea issue. What’s your comment on this?

A: In principle, we do not make specific comments on the viewpoints of think thanks, media, experts or scholars.

However, we have noted that the Philippine side has already made remarks on this, so I assume a response from our side is also due. I would like to say that the view of the relevant scholar only represents himself, not the official stance of the Chinese government.

Since the turnaround of China-Philippines relations in 2016, China has been actively helping the Philippines develop its economy and improve people’s livelihood, and we have given our full support to President Rodrigo Duterte’s large-scale infrastructure program “Build, Build, Build”. The Chinese government and financial institutions have also provided financing support to the Philippines, including preferential buyer’s credits, and assisted the Philippines in issuing the panda bonds, which effectively ensured the implementation of relevant projects.

By convention, parts of China’s concessional loans require the borrowers to use certain sovereign credit as collateral, which is an international practice. China has never asked and will never ask relevant countries to use natural resources as collateral in loan agreements. In this vein, our assistance and support to the Philippines are provided with no strings attached.

To properly resolve the South China Sea issue is the basis and important guarantee for the sound and steady development of China-Philippines relations, but China will not link the South China Sea issue with bilateral economic and trade cooperation projects. China stands ready to work with the Philippines to follow through on the consensus between the two leaderships and stay committed to properly resolving differences through dialogue and consultation, ensuring the sound and steady development of bilateral relations and jointly upholding regional peace and stability.

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