President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping pose for posterity prior to the start of the bilateral meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on April 25, 2019. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

There is no catch to China’s donation of 600,00 Sinovac Covid-19 doses which arrived in the country on Sunday, President Rodrigo Duterte said.

“China never asked for anything. China has been giving us everything and never asked anything from us actually” Duterte said after being asked if the vaccines came with strings attached.

The vaccines arrived at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on Sunday and were used to launch the country’s vaccination drive on Monday.

Duterte also revealed that he was planning to visit China and personally thank Chinese President Xi Jinping for the vaccines.

“Towards the end of the year, when everything has settled down, I’d like to make a short visit to China to just shake hands with President Xi Jinping and to personally thank him for this donation,” Duterte said.

Duterte hit the US for allegedly asking to build a military base in the country, which he said could endanger the country.

“Ang Amerikano, gusto nila, base. Ang direct consequence, it will start a war diyan sa Spratlys and China, ang lapit sa atin,” the president said.

“That’s the guarantee that I ano — na hindi ako papayag. Not because it will antagonize China but it is in the Philippine Constitution, which prohibits the presence of nuclear armaments in the country.” John Ezekiel J. Hirro