BEIJING’S Ambassador to Manila Zhao Jianhua on Tuesday said he believes that China and the Philippines could handle their differences and work toward a more prosperous relationship despite the maritime dispute in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).
In a statement sent by the Chinese Embassy, Zhao said they have taken note of President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s “positive remarks” at the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s (FFCCCII) early celebration of the Philippines’ 117th Independence Day.
The ambassador also took note of “relevant statements” made by Malacanang spokesman Edwin Lacierda on China-Philippines relations.
“We believe that our two countries can properly handle our differences,” Zhao said.
“We look forward to working with the Philippines to further promote bilateral commerce, trade, tourism and people-to-people exchanges so as to make sure our bilateral relations can enjoy a bright and prosperous future,” he added.
On Monday, the federation canceled the “diplomatic and friendship” part of what should have been a three-pronged celebration of the 14th anniversary of the Philippine-China Friendship Day, the 40th anniversary of the forging of bilateral relations between the two countries and the 117th celebration of Philippine Independence Day.
Instead, Monday’s event became an advance celebration of the 117th Independence Day on June 12.
Angel Ngu, president of FFCCCII, said the decision to cancel the “friendship and diplomatic” parts of the celebration was made after Aquino compared China to Nazi Germany.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Aquino’s remarks were reckless.
Last year, Ngu added , the word war was not that serious so they were able to celebrate the friendship day.