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MANILA, Philippines – “By the way, no strings attached,” said President Rodrigo Duterte about the almost P90 million in aid donated by the Chinese government to the Philippines for Super Typhoon Lawin (Haima) recovery efforts.
This is how he described the aid during a meeting with Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua on Monday, October 24, at Malacañang Palace.
“It’s completely out of benevolence,” added Duterte with Zhao beside him.
After the meeting, both made a statement on camera with Duterte holding a piece of paper that appeared to list down China’s donations.
According to Duterte, China gave a total of P89.8 million for those affected by Lawin.
- P50 million from the Chinese Embassy
- P4.8 million ($100,000) from the Chinese Red Cross
- P35 million (5 million RMB) from the Chinese government
Duterte, referring to the wrong typhoon, said the money would be for “the victims of Yolanda in the matter of restoring the livelihoods of those who were [badly] hit.”
“These will go a long way to rehabilitate and return the people, our countrymen, to their normal life,” said the President.
Zhao responded by thanking Duterte for his “kind words.”
“As a friend, neighbor, and brother, it is our duty and responsibility to provide assistance to the victims of the typhoon,” said Zhao.
The day before his visit, he had just arrived from a state visit to China where he and Chinese President Xi Jinping inked bilateral cooperation agreements. (READ: What Duterte accomplished in China)
It was there where he announced his “separation” from the US – which he later clarified would mean to “chart another way” in terms of foreign policy – and preference for stronger ties with China. – Rappler.com