The Chinese Embassy in Manila on Tuesday welcomed Malacanang’s decision to continue the contracts with Chinese companies involved in the artificial-island building in the West Philippine Sea or the South China Sea, saying that all projects will continue as planned.
“We have taken note of the statement made by the Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque that President Duterte charted an independent foreign policy course that puts the national interest at the core; and that the national interest of the Philippines is to ensure the completion of flagship projects under the Build Build, Build program,” Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian said in a radio interview, a transcript of which was provided by the Chinese Embassy.
Huang said the participation of Chinese companies and individuals in domestic construction activities is “legitimate, lawful and beyond reproach, lies entirely within its sovereignty.”
The Chinese diplomat’s statement came following the remarks made by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin J. last week that he will recommend the scrapping of contracts of Chinese firms that were implicated with the dredging and reclamation in the South China Sea.
He maintained that the cooperation between President Xi’s Belt and Road initiative and Duterte’s Build, Build, Build program has achieved “fruitful results and is bringing more and more benefits to the people of our two countries.”
“Chinese companies have made important contributions in this endeavor. I believe that any attempt to undermine the normal economic cooperation between China and the Philippines will never succeed,” the Chinese envoy added.
With regards to the sanction imposed by the US State Department and Commerce Department against Chinese individuals and 24 state-owned firms, Huang said such move by the US “grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs and aims to drive a wedge between China and regional countries.”
One of the companies included in the US sanction was the China Communications Construction Co. (CCCC) that bagged the $10-billion contract to develop the Sangley Point International Airport in partnership with Philippine-based MacroAsia Corp. under the Lucio Tan group.