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Trend of friendly cooperation cannot be held back

CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2024-06-11 07:10
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A flight from China's eastern coastal city of Xiamen arrives at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City, the Philippines, Jan 24, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

Editor's note: The Philippines' immigration department has taken a series of actions recently that are obviously targeted at Chinese people in the country amid the rising tensions between the Philippines and China over their maritime disputes in the South China Sea. The following are excerpts from a speech that Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian delivered at a ceremony for the fourth annual Award for Promoting Philippines-China Understanding (APPCU) on Saturday, which also marked the 49th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the Philippines and the 23rd China-Philippines Friendship Day.

The APPCU was born during the hard days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the support of those with a broader view, the APPCU has become a flagship program to enhance traditional friendship, mutual understanding, and affinity between our two countries, whose friendship spans over more than a millennium. In the mid-1970s, the older generation of leaders made a strategic decision to open up a new era of diplomatic ties. Forty-nine years have passed and our commitment to the millennium-old friendship and affinity has kept us inspired as always.

The APPCU is a shining example of such inspiration. Over the past four years, 33 Philippine friends have received this award. They are those who have contributed to China-Philippines friendship as a way of life, and who endorse and champion the traditional friendship in the new era. They are those who bear witness to and actually work for mutual understanding and amity between our two countries.

History gives perspective. As Honorable Senate President Francis "Chiz" Escudero said just now in his video message, it's natural for China and the Philippines to have differences. But despite having different positions on some specific issues, these should not be cause for misunderstandings, misjudgments or even conflicts.

China always advocates that the two countries should, on the basis of mutual understanding and respect, properly manage and handle our differences through dialogue and consultation, and promote the sound and stable development of our bilateral relations. Despite the ups and downs in relations since the establishment of diplomatic ties, China-Philippines relations have remained tenacious and forged ahead against all odds.

This follows the defining trend of the times, reflects the will of the two peoples, and is also inseparable from the tireless efforts of people from different walks of life, including all of the guests present here today. Greater efforts have always been made each time bilateral relations have encountered difficulties.

At present, China-Philippines relations are once again at a crossroads. We hope that more and more people from different sectors of society will join the great cause of promoting mutual understanding and amity between China and the Philippines and contribute to and safeguard the millennium-old friendship.


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