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China, Philippine need foresight in bilateral ties

By Chen Qinghong (People's Daily Overseas Edition)

17:13, September 02, 2011

Edited and Translated by People's Daily Online

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, head of a large delegation of about 300 Philippine businesspeople, started his first state visit to China on Aug. 30. Despite some ups and downs in China-Philippines relations since Aquino assumed the presidency about a year ago, the two countries still retain deep friendship and a solid foundation for full cooperation. As peace and development remain the principal themes of the times, the two countries should take a far-sighted strategic approach to managing their relations in order to achieve common development.

China and the Philippines enjoy a long-standing friendship. As early as the Tang Dynasty, many residents of China's coastal areas had been to the Philippines for the purpose of seeking adventures or business opportunities. After a bureau of maritime trade was set up in Quanzhou during the Song Dynasty, a large number of Chinese people frequently went to the Philippines for business reasons, and some even settled down and married local residents.

At present, 10 percent of the total population of the Philippines is Chinese, and an even larger percentage of the country's population is of Chinese ancestry. They have played an important role in the economic and social development of the Philippines.

Aquino himself is of mixed Chinese descent as his mother and former president of the country Corazon Aquino is the great-granddaughter of Xu Yuhuan, a Chinese person who lived in the city of Zhangzhou, Fujian province. During her presidency, Corazon Aquino had visited her Chinese hometown, paid homage to her ancestors, and planted an araucaria evergreen tree symbolizing the long-standing friendship between China and the Philippines.

China and the Philippines both suffered from the oppression and aggression of imperialism and colonialism during the modern times, during which the people of the two countries provided assistance to and defended each other against enemies.

In June 1898, Sun Yat-sen, the great forefather of Chinese democratic revolution, met with compatriots from the Philippines in Tokyo to actively help them to buy weapons. Chinese, such as Don Roman Ongpin, were well-known figures during the fight against Spain's colonial domination in the Philippines.

After Japan launched the war of aggression against China, the Philippine people conducted demonstrations and protests and donated money and goods to support China's resistance against Japan. When Japan invaded the Philippines, many overseas Chinese in the Philippines joined local anti-Japanese guerrillas and fought side by side with the Philippine people. Although China-Philippines relations once experienced a frustration due to the Cold War after the World War II, the bilateral ties have greatly advanced after their official diplomatic ties were established in 1975. China-Philippines relations significantly improved during the administration of former Philippine President Corazon Aquino, mother of the current Philippine President Benigno Aquino III.

Because China and the Philippines were once colonial or semi-colonial countries and are both developing countries, they face the same tough tasks in terms of developing economically and improving the public livelihood. China-Philippines relations have shown a strong development momentum since the start of the 21st century.

On top of three decades of progress after the establishment of the official diplomatic ties, the heads of states of China and the Philippines agreed in 2005 to build a strategic relationship of peace and development. The value of trade between China and the Philippines reached 28 billion U.S. dollars in 2010, and China is the Philippines' third largest trade partner. Given the gloomy prospects of the global economic recovery due to the U.S. and European debt crises, the two countries' tasks to develop economies and improve the public livelihood have become even tougher. Therefore, the two countries should conduct practical economic cooperation and expand the fields of cooperation in order to take advantage of each other's strengths and enable the achievements of their cooperation to benefit the public livelihood.

China and the Philippines are close neighbors geographically and also far-off relatives historically, culturally and even in blood ties. Such a solid foundation will support the future developments of the two countries.

China and the Philippines indeed have a dispute regarding the South China Sea issue, but like what President Aquino said, even the husband and wife who have been married for 50 years need to further understand each other. Based on the major precondition of common development, both sides should put the South China Sea issue on a proper position and solve the dispute with an eye toward peace and development.

Looking far ahead and aiming high, China and the Philippines should stand at a higher strategic plane, see things farther, properly solve the South China Sea dispute, jointly promote economic and trade cooperation and further tighten the relations and feeling exchanges between the people of the two countries based on the special relationship of close neighbors and far-off blood relatives. At present, the villagers of the Hongjian Village, Zhangzhou City, Fujian Province probably are waiting for the arrival of President Aquino eagerly.


Leave your comment7 comments

  1. Name

NEO at 2011-09-07206.248.255.*
China, Guam and Philippines need to help each other when the tidal wave hits.
Ta Li Yun at 2011-09-0568.42.152.*
China should respect Philippines sovereignity, China's intrusion in the territories sovereign to the philippines in the Western Philippine sea is an act of Aggression!
Ta Li Yun at 2011-09-0568.42.152.*
China should respect Philippines sovereignity, China's intrusion in the territories sovereign to the philippines in the Western Philippine sea is an act of Aggression!
TPaine at 2011-09-0560.53.163.*
>Chinese, such as Don Roman Ongpin, were well-known figures during the fight against Spain's colonial domination in the Philippines.<The article missed the even more deadly resistance against US colonialism: more than a million filipinos were tortured or murdered by Uncle Sam in battles that lasted from around 1899 till around WW1. Massacres of the poorly-armed Filipinos were almost a daily affair with the Americans, who later did somewhat the same thing to the Vietnamese.
PD User at 2011-09-04222.127.223.*
No its your china who needs to get out

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