China and the Philippines @ 42: More than partners

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CHINA and the Philippines are close neighbors separated only by a strip of water and sharing both blood and cultural connections. The friendship between China and the Philippines has withstood the test of time and should be dearly cherished by our two peoples as common treasure.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping meet prior to their bilateral meetings at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on October 20, 2016.

More than 1,000 years ago, trade and personnel exchanges have started between China and the Philippines. Six hundred years ago, the Sultan of Sulu embarked on a trip of friendship to China, carrying with him the good will of the Philippine people and leaving behind moving stories of China-Philippines amity. Over 100 years ago, many Chinese in coastal areas sailed across the sea to the Philippine shores and lived in harmony with the local communities. They stood thick and thin all together and forged fraternal affinity.

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during their meeting at the sidelines of the APEC Leaders’ Summit in Lima, Peru on November 21, 2016.

On June 9, 1975, the leaders of our two countries translated their vision and wisdom into the formal establishment of diplomatic relations, ushering in a new era for our time-weathered friendship. The past 42 years witnessed a sound and smooth development of China-Philippines friendly relations. In October 2016, H.E. President Xi Jinping welcomed H.E. President Rodrigo Duterte in Beijing on the latter’s first state visit to China and the two leaders charted a new page for China-Philippines partnership, which is well poised to move towards maturity with strength and depth.

President Duterte, his partner Honeylet Avanceña, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan attend the welcoming banquet for the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on May 14, 2017.

In retrospect, China-Philippines relations have experienced great accomplishments. Looking forward, we should try our utmost to open up broader vista for our two countries to tap into huge potential of mutually beneficial cooperation so as to enhance and enrich this strategic and cooperative relationship.


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