Chinese ambassador to Philippines calls for advancing bilateral strategic, cooperative relationship

08:39, June 04, 2010      

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Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Liu Jianchao said Thursday he hopes the strategic cooperation for peace and development between China and the Philippines could be pushed forward.

In his keynote speech at a luncheon hosted by the Manila Rotery Club on Thursday, Liu reviewed the friendly ties between people of the two countries in the past 500 years and the joint efforts for advancing the friendship made by several generations of leaders in both countries.

"In 2005," he said, "Chinese President Hu Jintao and Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo decided to build a China- Philippines relationship based on strategic cooperation for peace and development aiming to raise our friendly ties and cooperation to a new high. In 2009, the Joint Action Plan for Stratetic Cooperation was signed by the two government to press ahead with our efforts to implement in real earnest the consensus reached by our leaders."

For several years in a row, China has been among the top four trading partners of the Philippines and tens of thousands of jobs in the Philippines are closely linked to trade with China. The trade volume has surged from 72 million U.S. dollars in the early days of diplomatic relations to more than 20 billion U.S. dollars in 2009, an increase of about 300 times. In the first quarter of this year, the figure soared 51.6 percent to 6 billion dollars with a surplus of almost 1 billion dollars in favor of the Philippines, he said.

"I always believe that the key reason behind the sound growth of bilateral relations is that we have been able to handle differences in a discreet and non-intrustive manner," he said.

On the South China Sea issue, he said, "to shelve disputes and seek common development" was a consensus reached between former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping and the former Philippine Vice- President Salvador Laurel. The consensus stood the test of time and proved to be the best approach to address the differences between the two countries.

China is ready to share advanced agricultural technology to increase the per-unit rice paddy output in the Philippines. China is more than willing to offer the Philippines concessional loans for its faster infrastructure development. The two countries are enjoying bright prospects of cooperation in mining, tourism, education and sports, he said.

The 35th anniversary of China-Philippines diplomatic relations happened to fall right in the year when the Philippines had its national elections, he said. China congratulates the Philippine people to have had a smooth first ever automated election.

"We must ensure that China-Philippine strategic and cooperative relationship gets off to a good start and continues to forge ahead, " he concluded.



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