From H.E. Ambassador Zhao Jianhua
(Remarks by H.E. Mr. Zhao Jianhua, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China at the reception in celebration of the Chinese New Year on February 2nd Makati Shangri La Hotel)
Honorable ALBERT F. DEL ROSARIO,
Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines,
Honorable officials and officers of the Philippine Government,
Honorable members of the Senate and the House,
Excellencies, members of the diplomatic corps,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to extend to you warm welcome to join us in the celebration of the Chinese New Year—the Year of the Monkey. In the Chinese Zodiac, the monkey symbolizes vitality, flexibility and intelligence. If you use your intelligence, show some flexibility, you will have a vigorous Chinese New Year.
The same thing goes for the bilateral relations between China and the Philippines. Despite the challenges and difficulties, our overall relations remained stable and developing in 2015. We celebrated the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations by exchanging a number of cultural and art groups. Our president H.E. Xi Jinping participated in the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, which was successfully hosted by the Philippines. China remains as one of the top trading partners of the Philippines. The trade volume in the first 11 months of 2015 reached 41.46 billion dollars, increased by 2.3 percent. And more than 400,000 Chinese Tourists traveled to the Philippines last year.
As the Confucius said: “At the age of 40, one should no longer be confused.” China and the Philippines should not be confused by the current and temporary difficulties.
We are close neighbors, we can not move away from each other. We are partners, we can benefit more if we can use the great potentials for win-win cooperation. We are friends sharing over a thousand years of friendship and amicable exchanges. We do have some differences and disputes, but China is committed to peaceful settlement through dialogue and negotiation with the Philippines.
Honorable Secretary del Rosario,
We are glad that the Philippines has become a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The AIIB offers great opportunitis for our cooperation in the sector of infrastructure, it will inject greater vitality in our current and future bilateral relations.
The new year marks a new beginning. I sincerely hope and believe that through our joint efforts, we will continue to make new progress and open a new chapter of win-win cooperation.
Thank you. Happy Chinese New Year.