Philippines counts China as one of “closest allies” :finance chief


China is among the Philippines’ “closest allies” in the region as ties between the two neighboring countries are flourishing under the administration of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines’ finance chief said.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said in a statement released on Wednesday that economic ties between Manila and Beijing continue to improve in 2017 following Duterte’s rebalancing of the country’s foreign policy towards Asia.

Dominguez said that aid, concessional financing, and investment pledges made by China have progressed into agreements.

Moreover, China was among the first countries to pledge assistance in helping rebuild Marawi City in Mindanao, which was ruined by five-month fighting between government security forces and extremists last year.

“The unprecedented pledges of assistance from China that Duterte had generated for the Philippines in 2017 make up the initial investment dividend from his prescient foreign-policy rebalancing toward Asia,” said Dominguez in a statement.

Indeed, he said China is among the Philippines’ closest allies, with the country delivering swiftly on its respective pledges of assistance to help fund the government’s “Build, Build, Build” and Marawi reconstruction programs.

The Philippines is pleased with how China values its renewed friendship with the Philippines, he said.