- China assured that their government will prioritize the Philippines in giving access to their COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it becomes available
- President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said he appealed to Chinese president Xi Jinping to make the Philippines “one of the first” countries to have access to COVID-19 vaccine
- Earlier this month, the Department of Foreign Affairs said they have been coordinating with other international partners to have access to the vaccine
China has responded to President Rodrigo Duterte’s earlier appeal to prioritize the Philippines to be one of the first countries to have access to a COVID-19 vaccine.
Duterte has earlier said that he has talked to Chinese President Xi Jinping to allow the Philippines to procure COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes available in China.
“Let me just mention it in passing that about four days ago, I made a plea to President Xi Jinping that if they have the vaccine, can they allow us to be one of the first, or if it’s needed, if we have to buy it, that we will be granted credit so that we can normalize as fast as possible,” Duterte said in his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA).
On their part, China issued a statement assuring the Philippines that we will be given priority to the much-coveted COVID-19 vaccine once they are done developing it.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said in a briefing, a transcript of which was made available by GMA News, “The Philippines is a friendly close neighbor and we will give priority to its needs once we succeed in developing a vaccine.”
The Chinese official said the COVID-19 pandemic has become “new highlight” in the diplomatic ties of the Philippines and Beijing.
“Since the outbreak of COVID-19, China and the Philippines have been standing together with mutual assistance, turning anti-epidemic cooperation into a new highlight in bilateral relations,” Wang said.