By Antonio Colina IV
DAVAO CITY – The Chinese government vowed to help in the development of Mindanao, including infrastructure, connectivity, efficient power, and even in the reconstruction of conflict-stricken Marawi City.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yimade the statement during a joint press conference with newly-appointed Foreign Affairs secretary Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin at the Marco Polo Hotel Davao Monday.
He expressed confidence that Mindanao will become an important link in the China-Philippines cooperation.
Wang bragged about China’s technology and capability in power generation and signified interest in providing the Philippines with technology, personnel, training, expertise, and financial resources to develop power facilities from various sources such as thermal, hydro, solar, wind, and even nuclear power.
Chinese companies, he said had been extending help to Latin America and Africa to resolve energy issues and sees no why it cannot give a helping hand to the Philippines,he called “our close neighbor and good friend.”
He noted the importance of energy, the driving force for the country’s development and industrialization, as China had encountered similar power challenges when it was just developing.
The Chinese Foreign Minister said China is ready for an anti-terrorism cooperation with the Philippines and vowed to take an active part in achieving lasting peace in the island, even in the post conflict reconstruction of the Marawi, the country’s lone Islamic City that was destroyed by five months of battling Islamic State-inspired militants.
“China is ready for counter terrorism cooperation with Philippines, take an active part in post conflict reconstruction in Marawi so that the local communities will again enjoy a peaceful and tranquil life,” he said.
Wang said China was among the first countries to provide aid when the battle of Marawierupted in May last year, providing the military with artillery and equipment to weed out terrorists.
China also provided some 200 million renminbiyuan(P1.54 billion) for the post-conflict reconstruction.
Wang vowed that China will help Mindanao, particularly Davao City, the hometown of President Duterte develop a railway system.
“We will take an active part in the construction of Mindanao railway and help improve the internal connectivity of the Mindanao region,” he added.
He said they will assist Davao with the construction of bridges, railways, and expressways.
“We look forward to further increasing interactions between Mindanao and China, so that the development potentials of this region will be further unleashed and act as new momentum for friendship between China and Philippines,” he said.
Wang arrived in the city on Sunday and graced the opening of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Davao.