President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Thursday committed to forging closer ties between the Philippines and China, which he said must not be defined by their innate differences, but by their similarities, common purpose and shared goals.
Speaking during the Award for Promoting Philippines-China Understanding (APPCU) Award Ceremony at the Manila Hotel, President Marcos said his government will exert efforts to strengthen this relationship and strive to make it more comprehensive and strategic.
“It is my firm belief that our relationship must not be defined by our innate differences. We may have such differences; all friends do. But we recognize in the Philippines the commitment of President Xi and the People’s Republic of China to overcome such difficulties and I can assure our good Ambassador here that that commitment also is present in the Philippines’ efforts to bring us closer together — the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China. So let us be bound rather by our similarities, our common purpose, our shared goals,” the President said.
“As a guiding principle, we will pursue constant dialogue and an amicable approach to our decision-making and the resolution of issues,” Marcos said, noting that beyond Thursday’s proceedings, the two nations must celebrate their bilateral ties.
“Being a peace-loving nation, we will adhere, for all intents and purposes, to the fundamental adage that good communication is key to a good relationship.” he said.
Marcos said the event is a fitting prelude to the celebration of the 48th year of the formal establishment of the Philippines-China relations, which has been a boon to Philippines’ economic strength over the years.
According to Marcos, China has been the country’s top partner in terms of total trade: ranking first as its import source; and, second, as Philippines’ export destination. China and its Special Administrative Regions are also second-home to a substantial number of Overseas Filipinos.
The President also appreciated the Association for Philippines-China Understanding’s (APCU) initiative for organizing the event, and honored former Presidents Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Rodrigo Roa Duterte for their achievements and contributions to the country’s development.
Marcos said former President Arroyo played a vital role in rejuvenating the APCU “which led in many ways to the launching of these Awards (that) must certainly be recognized. In doing so, she recognized the great importance of maintaining mutual understanding between our two countries.”
“Perhaps the highlight of this Awards night is the high recognition bestowed to the former President of our Republic—our Tatay Digong Duterte,” Marcos said of his predecessor.
“And I join the entire nation in recognizing the former President for his strong leadership and for all that he has done in building a more resilient nation,” he added.
APPCU, a joint undertaking spearheaded by the APCU and the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines, is a novel award-giving body that pays special tribute to Filipinos who have made efforts in strengthening friendly ties and promoting mutual understanding between the Philippines and China, using their respective advocacies and expertise in the various fields and disciplines such mass media and public service; trade and commerce; and, arts, culture, and the sciences.
Launched on January 16, 2021, APPCU’s goal is to actively continue promoting friendship between China and the Philippines and enhancing people-to-people exchanges, considering amity as a major factor in ensuring sound state-to-state relations.
APPCU’s award categories include Hall of Fame, Outstanding Contributions, and Major Contributions. (PND)