MANILA – Malacañang on Tuesday said the relationship between the Philippines and China is now at the “renaissance” stage under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque issued the statement the same day the two countries mark the 45th anniversary of their diplomatic relations.
“Well, I would say that Philippine-Chinese relations is enjoying our renaissance under the administration of President Duterte,” Roque said in a virtual presser aired on government-owned PTV-4.
The diplomatic ties between the Philippines and China were established on June 9, 1975.
Since the establishment of diplomatic ties, bilateral partnership between Manila and Beijing has flourished in terms of security and regional cooperation, trade, investment, agriculture, tourism, cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
The celebration of the 45th year of diplomatic relations between the two nations coincides with the observance of Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day.
Roque expressed hope that the Philippines’ improved ties with China would reap success for both countries.
“We hope that this renaissance will lead to better relations resolving all the disputes that we have between our two countries, increase economic ties, increase prosperity for both Philippines and China,” he said.
The Philippines’ long-running territorial disputes with China over the resource-rich South China Sea remain unresolved.
Since Duterte assumed office in 2016, he has opted to pursue non-adversarial approach to address the maritime row with China.
The Philippines and China are enjoying closer economic and trade relationship under Duterte’s watch.
China is currently the Philippines’ top trading partner, the largest source of imports, and the third largest export market.
China also plays a crucial role in the Duterte government’s ambitious “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program by providing financial assistance for a number of major infrastructure projects like bridges and railways. (PNA)