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China and PH are “negotiating” to advance projects.

After a Philippine transport official revealed that some infrastructure projects had been deemed “withdrawn” as a result of Beijing’s failure to act on funding requests made by the previous administration, China said on Sunday that it is “negotiating” with the Philippines over the funding of some of these projects.

After Transport Undersecretary for Railways Cesar Chavez revealed that the Philippines had withdrawn its loan requests for three expensive railway projects—the Philippine National Railways Bicol project, the Subic-Clark Railway Project, and the first phase of the Mindanao Railway Project—because Beijing had been unresponsive to its loan application since 2019—the Chinese Embassy provided the clarification.

Earlier, Chavez said that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. was considering revoking the loans with Beijing or engaging in talks with other nations.

The Chinese Embassy in a statement did not specifically refer to the withdrawal of money but promised to “exploit its own advantage and support the Philippines to improve its infrastructure.”

The embassy stated that “our two sides have been resolving technical concerns and making good progress to bring the projects forward.”

China is open to technical conversations regarding our G2G (government-to-government) initiatives, according to the embassy, and is prepared to advance our cooperation while keeping in constant contact with the incoming Philippine administration.

According to the embassy, China has assisted the Philippines in finishing 17 projects, and more than 20 other projects are now being implemented or are already underway.

“Over the past two years, Covid-19 has hampered the execution of various projects, impeding site accessibility, delaying procurement, impairing the movement of products, and so forth. Despite these challenges and difficulties, our two sides have worked relentlessly to advance the projects and have produced rich results in a variety of disciplines, including infrastructure, agriculture, and anti-pandemic response.

fresh phase of friendship

The phone call between Marcos and Chinese President Xi Jinping on May 18 and previous high-level visits, according to the Chinese Embassy, ushered in “a new era of China-Philippine relations.”

The governments of the two nations are committed to fostering their friendship and mutual trust, upholding good neighborliness, and advancing their cooperative relationships. The embassy stated that China’s policy toward the Philippines has been constant and stable throughout history and will remain so.

The Chinese Embassy expressed optimism that both bilateral practical collaboration and “continuity” in bilateral relations would be secured.

The statement said, “Looking ahead, China will build on the past success and expand our cooperation in agriculture, infrastructure, energy, inter-ethnic exchange, and other spheres.

Since China has not responded to the Philippine government’s loan request since 2019, Chavez claimed that China’s funding promise for the railway projects was “deemed canceled.”

He claimed that the 3-percent interest rate requested by the Chinese bank for the loans was far greater than the 0.01-percent rate levied by Japan.

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