China to PH: Let’s strengthen ties


China and the Philippines should work together to strengthen weak economic ties between them, Beijing’s envoy to Manila has said, despite an acrimonious maritime dispute.

“It is imperative and essential that the two countries focus [on]things that can unite us, focus on things that can promote common prosperity for both countries,” Ambassador Zhao Jianhua told Filipino businessmen in a speech late Tuesday.

Manila accuses Beijing of illegally claiming islets and waters in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) within the Philippines’ continental shelf, and has asked a United Nations tribunal to declare the actions as against international law.

The speech did not touch on the maritime row but Zhao observed that economic ties had lagged behind those between China and the rest of Southeast Asia.

It echoed President Benigno Aquino’s oft-expressed view that the South China Sea dispute did not constitute the “totality” of their relationship.

Zhao said Filipino firms have invested more in China than Chinese companies have in the Philippines.

But Filipino farm exports to China were insignificant, and Chinese tourist arrivals in the Philippines were dwarfed by Chinese visiting Malaysia and Thailand.

Total bilateral trade last year reached $16.39 billion, making mainland China the Philippines’ number three trading partner.

But while Chinese firms invested more than $90 billion abroad in the same period, less than two percent of that reached the Philippines, Zhao said.

“You’ll be surprised that the Philippines is investing more in China than what China is investing in the Philippines.”

As the Chinese economy shifts from being “the world’s factory” to one led by domestic consumption, Zhao said manufacturers would move operations to Africa and other parts of Asia.

“There is a good opportunity for the Philippine side to receive some of our good-quality manufacturing investments,” he added.

China also wants to invest more in Philippine infrastructure and energy projects, Zhao said.

He added that mainland Chinese tourist arrivals in the Philippines, which rose 70 percent to just under half a million people last year, were puny compared to Malaysia’s four million Chinese visitors and about three million to Thailand.

“Can you imagine if you attract one or two million Chinese tourists? That will instantly boost the tourism industry in the Philippines,” Zhao said.

“But we’re glad that despite the difficulties we’re having, the Chinese tourists are still attracted” to the Philippines, he added.



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  1. Rocky Coronel on

    Double talk. China does the opposite of what it proclaims. No sincerity, full of deceit, very artificial and hypocritical.

  2. Before China say this things let them first get out from all
    the Kalayaan Group of Islands that are truly belongs to the
    Philippines. They are there only of one thing. To take all the
    fishes of the entire world and nothing else. They do not care at all
    as long as they feed their people and make a lot of money to sell
    it all over the world.

    Can never trust them anyway. The SARS,the Contamination of most
    of Paints they used and now we see that even animal food
    they export are now being taken seriously.We all say that they have
    the biggest population in the entire world but they do not take
    care with their environment with most of their rivers, land and sea
    are contaminated and the air they breath if this are not solved big
    time problem they will face in the years ahead. Medical is very expensive
    and we all know it.

  3. Unbelievable arrogance of the Chinese envoy to say that when Pinoys have invested more in China than the Chinese themselves in the Philippines. Tarantadong gago!

  4. how ironic, that the filipinos are invested more than the chinese. then here you are saying that “need to strengthen on weak economic ties”..

  5. “There is a good opportunity for the Philippine side to receive some of our good-quality manufacturing investments,”

    How good is your manufactured goods?

  6. Borgy Malooy on

    Chinese government cannot be trusted they are master of double TALK, and they don’t know how to respect INTERNATIONAL LAW, your INVESTMENT cannot BUY RESPECT AND TRUST.

  7. So what do you mean? We need more Chinese in the Philippines? Keep your money China! You might think that we need you more that’s why you are taking away our sovereignty and Territorial seas. Kapal ng mukha nitong envoy na ito. Ang kakapal ng mga mukha niyo! Sampalin kita diyan eh.

    • How can we be respected about our territorial claims— when we can’t even assert our rights against Malaysia regarding Sabah?

  8. The pilipino are not ignorant not like you the chinese. Dont speak to much just to say the chinese are good we the pilipino are not stupid as you are the pilipino people should be united to promote and stop buying any product made in china.the chinese are the number one criminals all over the world chinese product are most poisoneous that’s affected the humanity in the world, the world should stop this heinous crime that chinese are committed in thr world

  9. Why! is this something like words doesn’t really mean what the action is. Pero bakit ino-occupy nila (china) atolls, reefs, island, etc along the Spratly. Some thing fishy!

  10. Gustave Fernandes on

    China must be trembling in fear now that Japan’s collective self-defense is in effect.