China to donate ₱1-B for Marawi rehab, signs 14 deals with PH

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 15) — The rebuilding of Marawi just got a boost from China after Premier Li Keqiang Li Keqiang said his government would be helping rebuild the war-torn city.

During Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit in Malacanang Wednesday, he said his government will give RMB150 million (₱1.15 billion) "of grants for the rebuilding and improvement of livelihood in Marawi to demonstrate the support of the Chinese people."

Li said China was confident Duterte would be able to rebuild Marawi within a short time and its residents would embrace better lives.

Duterte had nothing but kind words for Li, saying the visit was a "momentous occasion" as it was the first time a Chinese Premier visited the country in 10 years.

"This shows the great strides that we have accomplished in the bilateral relations between our two countries since I assumed [office]," Duterte said.

Duerte said both countries' efforts have "secured peace, stability, and development in the region."

The President said he was looking forward to discuss issues pertaining to trade, education, and interpersonal exchanges with Li.

The Chinese leader for his part compared the hot weather here in Manila to the two countries' now warm relations.

He pointed out that for the past 10 months of the year, China has become the Philippines' top trading partner.

More deals bagged

The Department of Finance on Wednesday said China has committed $7.34 billion in soft loans and grants for the implementation of 10 big-ticket projects, the construction of two bridges in Metro Manila, and two drug rehabilitation facilities in Mindanao.

The Marawi aid is included in this package, under the Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation.

The 14 agreements signed by the two countries are:

  • economic and technical cooperation
  • the Second Basket of Key Infrastructure Projects Cooperation
  • projects about drug treatment and rehabilitation centers
  • project for two bridges across the Pasig River
  • development of industrial parks
  • the Philippine National Railways South Long Hall Project
  • production capacity and investment
  • climate change
  • defense industry cooperation
  • intellectual property
  • youth cooperation
  • financing cooperation on the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project and the New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project
  • the Republic of the Philippines 2017 Renminbi Bond Issuance Underwriting Agreement
  • the Bases Conversion and Development Authority and China Development Bank

In stressing its full support for the Philippines' infrastructure program, Li proposed that the two countries meet again to craft a five- to 10-year cooperation plan for infrastructure.

Li also congratulated Duterte for the country's hosting of the 31st ASEAN Summit and said that it is about time for people to set aside doubts on this revived friendship between the Philippines and China.

He called on everyone to start sharing more positive stories about the two countries' relationship.

CNN Philippines Digital Producer Pia Garcia contributed to this report.