Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Political, economic activities to mark PH-China anniversary

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 17, 2019): Political, economic activities to mark PH-China anniversary (By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora)

President Rodrigo Duterte (right) and Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian (left). (Presidential Photo)

China’s new envoy to the Philippines said on Monday a number of political visits and activities focused on Manila and Beijing’s economic cooperation will mark the upcoming 45th anniversary of the Philippines and China's diplomatic relations in 2020.

“We are working closely with our Philippine counterpart to work out something for the celebration next year and those activities will consist of programs in the field of economic cooperation and culture,”
Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian told reporters during a reception in Taguig City.

As the new Chinese envoy to Manila, he reiterated his intent to work closely with senior Filipino officials in implementing the consensus reached between Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Rodrigo Duterte in the last eight meetings they had.

“In the past 10 days since I arrived in this country, I’ve met a lot of senior officials, secretaries and I’ve discussed with them how to further implement the consensus agreed by our leaders and the programs to be pursued next year. I’m still in the process of learning but I’m very confident that all the efforts would bring about tangible results in the near future," he said.

China is the Philippines’ top trading partner, the largest source of imports and export market as well as the largest foreign investment origin and the second largest tourist source.

Huang said in the first 10 months of 2019, the bilateral trade volume reached USD49.8 billion with a 7.2 percent year-on-year increase.

In the same period, Chinese arrivals to the country also hit 1.5 million, up by 41 percent on a year-on-year basis.

The projects between the two nations are also “being pushed forward at a steady pace,” he said, citing the Chico River Pump Irrigation, New Centennial Water Source Kaliwa Dam and the Philippine National Railway's South Long Haul.

“More than a dozen flagship infrastructure projects are in the pipeline to be completed in the next few years,” he said.

In his speech, Huang described the Philippine-China cooperation as characterized by “peace and amity” that already achieved “progress” while handling differences “in a constructive manner”.

The Philippines and China are both claimant countries in the West Philippine Sea where trillion dollars- worth of trade passes through annually.

At present, the two governments are discussing the issue through the so-called Bilateral Consultation Mechanism on the South China Sea (BCM), of which the fifth and most recent meeting was held in Beijing in October 2019.


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