China to PH: ‘Nothing can keep us from being friends’


Outgoing Chinese Ambassador Ma Keqing on Tuesday night said that she strongly believes that the “strained” relationship of the Philippines with her country due to territorial dispute will eventually come to end because the two countries both have deep historical friendship.

Ma said she very well understands the sentiments of both countries when it comes to the West Philippine/South China Sea issue eves as she remains confident that the “conflict” will not, in any way, cause further anxiety to the two nations.

The Chinese ambassador said she has tried to the best of her abilities to patch the misunderstandings which both countries have had experienced in the past years.

She said serving as ambassador in a country where her country has territorial dispute is a very challenging task for her.

“ I learned a lot from these two years. One of the most (challenging) experience is that how to deal in a host country with which your own country has a conflict of sovereignty. It is very complex (since) it bears the national sentiments of both countries,” Ma said during a farewell dinner hosted by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) headed by its president Miguel Valera and Chairman Emeritus Dr. Francis Chua.

Ma was appointed ambassador to the Philippines January 2012 and will end her tour of duty early next year. She served at time when the dispute at the Spratlys Islands was brought up anew between the countries claiming ownership of the territory, aside from China’s implementation of the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).

Even as the situation was tensed, Ma’s diplomacy managed to win friends in the country who even supported her in so many ways.

“So what I have been doing is to reach out. Outside Metro Manila I have visited nine provinces and spoke to students in a dozen universities and also local civil society. I have also managed to make friends among these difficult times and I am very lucky to have all of you to support me and help me in my endeavors,” Ma said.

Ma said every Chinese and Filipino citizen must be part of the solution in the territorial conflict and must help one another in bringing about economic growth in the region.

She said China, being ahead with various technologies, can help the Philippines and other neighboring countries with their respective economic growth.

“So, in China we are expecting a sustainable economic growth in the years to come and in this region we are going to see a golden opportunity for all the countries within the region to grow together. I see no reason to doubt this opportunity but to join hands together,” Ma said.

She added: “So, united we win, united we lose. So, upon leaving I have the confidence that I would look forward to the day when our relations would start to the normal track and will be even better again. I hope the day will come sooner than later”. PNA


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