China pledges 150-M RMB for Marawi rehab

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CHINA has pledged 150 million Renminbi (RMB) in grants to the Philippines for relief and rehabilitation of besieged Marawi City, where a long-standing conflict between state forces and terrorists has plunged the once bustling urban center into a crisis.

This, according to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, who met with President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacanang on Wednesday.

In his remarks during his joint press statement with Duterte, Li said that China supported the Philippine government’s efforts to combat terrorism.

“My talks with Mr. President were about the cooperation between the two countries regarding defense affairs and counter terrorism. The Chinese side supports the efforts made by Mr. President and the Philippine government in upholding the security and stability of your country,” Li said.

“The Chinese government will provide 150 million RNB of grants for the rebuilding and improvement of livelihood in Marawi to demonstrate the support of the Chinese people. We have full confidence that under your leadership, Mr. President, and the leadership of your government, the rebuilding of Marawi will be completed at a very early date and the local people will embrace an even better life,” he said.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that more than P50 billion would be needed to cover the repair and construction of government and private infrastructure.

On June 27, the Chinese government donated P15 million for the relief operations in Marawi.

Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua presented the check to President Duterte as a sign of the “flourishing partnership” between the Philippines and China.

As of September, China has donated a total of P85 million, according to Lorenzana.

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