China closely watching probe on Philippine broadband plan

China is closely watching investigations into alleged bribery in a Philippine government broadband contract won by a Chinese company, a diplomat, quoted by an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said an opposition politician filed an impeachment complaint against the Philippine elections chief who has been accused of offering bribes to a Cabinet official and a businessman to push the national broadband network contract with China's ZTE.

ZTE has denied any irregularities, the report said.

'We are taking a close watch on the recent developments in the Philippines regarding this (broadband) project,' Liang Wentao, economic and commercial counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Manila, quoted by the report, said.

He said corruption allegations connected to the deal 'are pure domestic issues of the Philippines,' the report said.

The project was to be funded with a $330 million preferential loan from China.

Despite suspension of the project ordered by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and the Philippine Supreme Court, Liang said economic and trade cooperation between the Philippines and China will not be affected.

He said China has offered $1.8 billion in preferential buyer's credits to the Philippines, making it the largest recipient of such loans from China, the report further said.

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