Relations between the Philippines and China have reached an apex comparable to “blossom trees in full bloom” which is how they will be marked in both countries during the forthcoming visit to the country of President Xi Jinping late this month.
Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua said Xi’s visit to the Philippines will also be his first as Chinese Head of State since 2005.
“We have every reason to believe that this visit will enormously boost China-Philippines relations in the new era, position our relations as a new model of international relations and further contribute to the building of a community of shared future for mankind,” Zhao said in a statement.
Zhao quoted an ancient Chinese poem which stated “At a spring night, the winds boom, which brings many trees of blossom to bloom” in reference to Xi’s visit.
The Chinese diplomat said relations between China and the Philippines have achieved an overall turnaround, secured a robust and dynamic growth and surged forward along a fast track during the terms of President Rodrigo Duterte and Xi.
Standing at a new and crucial historical juncture, China and the Philippines are bound to build stronger strategic mutual trust, perform deeper economic cooperation and trade and nurture closer people-to-people exchanges, Xi said.
Xi left Beijing yesterday for Papua New Guinea (PNG) for a state visit and to attend the 26th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting this weekend.
After his agenda in PNG, the Chinese President will make his first state visits to Brunei and the Philippines from 18 to 21 November.
Presidential spokesman and chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo said Xi will be in the country from November 20 to 21.
“Proceeding from the principles of honoring traditional friendship, upholding peace and goodwill and advancing win-win cooperation, our two sides should by all means make the best and full use of the upcoming state visit by President Xi Jinping and work together to make the Golden Age of China-Philippines relations richer and brighter than ever before,” Zhao added.
Sister city ties
As concrete proof of stronger links between both countries, Mr. Duterte’s hometown Davao City had inked a sister city ties with Jinjiang.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio led the signing of the Sister City Agreement between Davao City and Jinjiang City, China on 13 November 2018 at the Fliport Hotel in Jinjiang.
Jinjiang Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Committee chairman Liu Wenru signed in behalf of the Municipal Government of Jinjiang.
The sister city relations seek to establish cooperation between the two urban centers in the fields of tourism and culture, trade and commerce, health and wellness, education, science and technology.
In her speech, Duterte-Carpio said “that fostering an exchange of ideas on identified fields will bring the people of our two cities closer, strengthening the bilateral ties between our two nations even further.”
“On its own, Davao City stands as a strong community. But with partner communities and sister cities like Jinjiang, we stand stronger,” she added.
It was in February 2017 when representatives of the Municipal Government of Jinjiang, led by Executive Vice Mayor Li Zili, visited Davao City to present their interest to establish friendly ties.
During the Sister City Signing Ceremony, the City Government of Davao also witnessed the forging of four Memorandum of Understanding documents between businessmen of Davao City and Jinjiang City, including a Tourism Exchange Agreement to support the Davao City-Jinjiang direct flight, to be launched in December 2018 and the establishment of a Confucius Institute at the Ateneo de Davao University.
Zhao recalled it has been more than two years since Mr. Duterte paid his first state visit to China in October 2016.
“The practical cooperation between our two countries has been garnering steady support from the three pillars of political and security, economic relations and trade and people-to-people exchanges,” he said.