Philippines-China relations

Xi hails ‘everlasting friendship’ on 46th anniversary of PH-China ties

Sofia Tomacruz
Xi hails ‘everlasting friendship’ on 46th anniversary of PH-China ties

LEADERS. In this file photo, President Rodrigo Duterte and President Xi Jinping of People's Republic of China declare their joint press statements following the successful expanded bilateral meeting at the Malacañang Palace on November 20, 2018.

Malacañang

'May the everlasting friendship between our two peoples grow from generation to generation,' says Chinese President Xi Jinping in a letter to President Rodrigo Duterte

On the 46th year celebrating diplomatic ties between the Philippines and China, Chinese President Xi Jinping hailed the “everlasting friendship” of the two countries and vowed to further strengthen relations between Manila and Beijing. 

Xi gave these assurances in a letter to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, under whose administration ties between the Philippines and China were seen to have entered a “golden age.”  

“I attach great significance to the development of China-Philippine relations and stand ready to work with you in guiding our bilateral relations to move forward in a sustained and steady manner…. May the everlasting friendship between our two peoples grow from generation to generation,” Xi wrote Duterte on Wednesday, June 9. 

With Xi, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi praised the “healthy and stable development” of relations seen in recent years under the Duterte administration. In a separate letter to Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Wang committed to deepening ties between the Philippines and China. 

“I stand ready to work with you to fully implement the important consensus between the Heads of States of our two countries to fight agains (the) COVID-19 pandemic…constantly deepen cooperation, and effectively manage differences,” Wang said. 

The 46th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two nations is celebrated on the same day as the 20th Philippines-China friendship day. 

The June 9 milestone also marks nearly five decades since then-Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos and then Chinese premier Zhou Enlai signed a joint communiqué to establish Philippine-China relations on June 9, 1975.

In a taped messaged aired during the Federation Of Filipino Chinese Chambers Of Commerce & Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII), Duterte hailed the centuries-old relationship that Filipinos and Chinese had with one another and looked forward to the 50th anniversary of ties with Beijing. 

Duterte vowed to pursue “win-win cooperation” with China to ensure “better peace, progress, and prosperity.” 

Locsin echoed this and touted the bond between the Filipino and Chinese community as “effortless.” The Philippines’ top diplomat expressed optimism that while both countries have had their differences, “Still, through it all, we come through.”

“As in the old days, when we broke through barriers one after another – in language, culture, and beliefs, I have faith that we will once again overcome our differences. That faith has its deep foundations down to the bone of shared blood and life stories,” Locsin said. 

Messages of goodwill between the Philippines and China come after tensions flared in recent months over the Chinese ships’ incursions into the West Philippine Sea

Both the Philippines and China have exchanged forceful messages, though a recent bilateral meeting held at the end of May saw both countries resolve to ease tensions and “understand each country’s position and intentions in the area.”

Under Duterte, the Philippines has adopted a friendlier stance toward China, downplaying a decades-long sea dispute in exchange for loans and grants from the Chinese. – Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs and is the lead reporter on the coronavirus pandemic. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.