A shared future for mankind

ROSES AND THORNS - Pia Roces Morato - The Philippine Star

It was a real pleasure to kick off the new year with my friends and colleagues in media last Wednesday at Dusit Thani Hotel for a media party hosted by the Chinese embassy in the Philippines. Having had the chance to experience a cultural exchange with our neighbor in the region and learn more about our shared heritage, I look forward, together with the rest of our friends, to a future of promise and possibilities. Lasting peace, prosperity and shared security, as Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian explained during the event, is one of the main goals they aim to achieve through common values of humanity.

In a previous column, I had shared my speech about how media should be used to promote humanity and drive each and every one of us to seek a positive future for all. As we know, such shared values are the building blocks of inclusivity, diversity and social justice where communities are accepting of all individuals. An integration of these values creates an environment of inclusion and balance where a win-win relationship of cooperation is established. Considering we are neighbors, just like the rest of ASEAN, connecting with one another and developing meaningful bonds help all of us achieve our shared goals and at the same time enhance other meaningful relationships with the rest of the world.

Our history as a nation is more than fascinating, to be honest. In fact, in my opinion, as a Filipino with both Spanish and Chinese roots, thanks to the help of our patriotic ancestors, we are still a country that has in its identity a part that we can always use to foster better relations built on our shared heritage. In the case of our affinity with China, a relationship that has linked us by a strip of water for thousands of years, our shared history enjoins us to continue to live in harmony.

On a personal note, there was a time when I was often labeled as a product of a colonizer (that being Spain) but thanks to logic and reason, I was able to turn this mindset around as a Spanish teacher by explaining the mutual benefits we can gain as friendly nations on equal footing. After all, this was what our national hero Jose Rizal was fighting for.

The beauty of developmental diplomacy, where countries are able to understand that they simply benefit from heritage and culture, is the foundation for economic growth. In the same way, with regard to China, as neighbors who simply traversed the waters of trade, we as sovereign countries can mutually benefit from this kind of cooperation.

As for our maritime issues, both President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and President Xi Jinping have agreed that the ongoing dispute is not a defining factor in the two countries’ relationship and, as the Chinese Ambassador expressed at the event, such an issue should be addressed properly through dialogue and consultation to jointly maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea while continuing to foster a sound development of bilateral relations.

Looking into the guiding principles of humanity, where peace, diversity and social justice are key elements that make a positive impact on our society, the pathway for shared benefits is not limited by our individual choices, but rather by values that ultimately determine the best way for progress and peace.

Human values are transmitted through education and universal values are considered positive by most nations as this highlights cooperation. In short, applying the common values shared by humanity is the guiding principle for our continued cooperation as well as a necessity in today’s global society, for it creates many positive characters that in turn create bonds of humanity that will be passed down to the next generations.

I would like to thank the Chinese embassy in the Philippines once again for their invitation to another memorable event as we look forward to welcoming the new year built on a shared future for all of mankind.

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