Xi: China, Philippines to continue being friendly neighbors

Michael Punongbayan - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Chinese President Xi Jinping, congratulating President Marcos on his inauguration, is looking forward to what he describes as “good-neighborly friendship” between China and the Philippines.

In his congratulatory letter, Xi recalled that not long ago, he talked with Marcos over the phone and reached consensus with him “on upholding good-neighborly friendship of the two countries and joining hands for common development.”

Xi before the weekend said he is ready to work with Marcos to chart the course for the development of bilateral ties from a strategic and long-term perspective.

The Chinese president said he also hopes to “continue to write a great chapter of the China-Philippines friendship and cooperation for the new era, so as to benefit the two countries and their people.”

Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian also congratulated Marcos on his inauguration that he was able to witness Thursday along with Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan as Xi’s special representative.

“President Marcos’ speech is a shining light on the future of the Philippines. And to be part of this historic occasion, China shares the commitment to continuing our ties with the new President and his administration in next six years. Hope that this new administration reinforces our ever-expanding friendship and cooperation,” he said.

China’s congratulatory messages and talk of neighborly friendship come amid continuing territorial disputes in the West Philippine Sea.

Just last week, China Coast Guard vessels shadowed and issued radio challenges to soldiers of the military’s Western Command who successfully conducted troop rotation and reprovisioning of personnel stationed on the BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal.

“Despite shadowing and radio challenges from China Coast Guard vessel, Team Wescom, through its Joint Task Force West, has successfully conducted troop rotation and reprovisioning of personnel stationed in BRP Sierra Madre (LS 57) in Ayungin Shoal, KIG (Kalayaan Island Group), Palawan on June 20 to 22, 2022,” the military said.

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