China ‘highly appreciates’ Marcos Jr.’s commitment to friendly relations

Bongbong Marcos and Wang Yi
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. receives Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi who is visiting the Philippines at Malacañan Palace on Wednesday, July 6, 2022.
PCOO / Released

MANILA, Philippines — China "highly appreciates" President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s plan to continue pursuing a "friendly policy" to Beijing, similar to former President Rodrigo Duterte's, saying the president's comments send a positive signal to the world.

“We highly appreciate President Marcos’ recent commitment to pursuing friendly policy toward China and we speak highly of his recent statements that have sent out a very positive signal to the outside world,” Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday

He noted that the president’s statements has been implying that “China is the strongest partner of the Philippines.” 

Wang is on an official visit and will be the first foreign dignitary received by Marcos Jr. and his Manila counterpart, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo. 

Wang paid a courtesy call on Manalo at the Department of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday morning and expressed that the two countries should "join hands and further enhance mutual trust [and] expand mutually beneficial cooperation." 

An audio recording of their opening statements was provided to reporters by the DFA. 

Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo welcomes Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the Department of Foreign Affairs building on Wednesday, July 6, 2022.
DFA/Philip Adrian Fernandez

Manalo, in his statement, noted that the security situation around the country is now more intricate due to the ever-changing political, economic, and socio-cultural situation.

"China has been a good friend and a close partner of the Philippines in our [post-pandemic] recovery efforts and we have stood shoulder-to-shoulder in times of great difficulty, helping one another so that we may both bring progress to our people and nation," he said.

Wang will also pay a courtesy call on President Marcos Jr.

‘Other dimensions’

In a press briefing held on Tuesday afternoon, Marcos Jr. said he wants to expand talks between the two countries beyond issues in the West Philippine Sea toward other dimensions such as cultural and educational exchanges, military, and other areas of cooperation.

"The agenda I’m sure will be to strengthen ties between China and the Philippines and of course to find ways to work to resolve the conflicts that we have," Marcos Jr. said when asked about the meeting with Wang. 

Meanwhile, the Chinese foreign minister on Wednesday said that they are "ready to work toward the same direction with the Philippines."

Wang also gave a nod to the Duterte administration’s relationship with China. Duterte’s foreign policy was seen as a pivot to Beijing from historically warm ties with the US, treaty ally and former colonizer. 

China has funded several projects of the Duterte administration’s “Build, build, build” infrastructure initiative. 

"The correct strategic guidance from the leaderships and the top leaders of our two countries, China-Philippine relations overcame all sorts of difficulties and achieved this turnaround and is continuously moving forward," Wang said. — Kaycee Valmonte




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