“Under the strategic vision and concerted efforts by both our leaders, China-Philippines relations have been building on the historic turnaround and ushering in a new era, or better known as another Golden Age,” Chinese Embassy political counselor Tan Qingsheng said this at a Christmas reception with the media. This disclosure comes after last year’s visit of the Du30 administration delegates to Beijing. This is where Bongbong Marcos was introduced as the new Vice President.
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Times Improved Despite South China Sea Dispute
China’s envoy to the Philippines reaffirms Beijing’s support for Manila under the Du30 administration. He cites improved ties between the two nations. This despite the dispute over the South China Sea. Beijing hails the initiatives undertaken by the two countries in 2017. It also lauds the President’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program. This is where Chinese investment plays a key role.
Rebuilding Ties after Pnoy Admin’s Move
Du30 met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping twice this year. The effort intends to thaw ties between the Philippines and China. The relationship soured under the previous administration due to the Hague ruling. The two leaders first met in May during the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in China. They met again last month during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Meeting in Vietnam.
Sectors to be Advanced
“Guided by such spirit, our two countries have taken concrete actions to advance our pragmatic cooperation in such priority areas as infrastructure, production capacity, investment, commerce, trade, agriculture and people-to-people exchange,” Tan said.
Golden Age Strategy
The President downplays the disputes as he seeks to improve trade and defense ties with Beijing. However, under the Philippines’ chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations this year, China agreed to negotiate a Code of Conduct to govern the waters under dispute by six parties. This diplomacy follows the same principle as Bongbong Marcos’ father. The Chinese did not forget that during the late President Ferdinand Marcos’ reign, both countries prosper in an era called the Golden Age. That’s why his son was applauded when Du30 introduced him as VP last year if he wins his case. The recount of his electoral protest against Leni Robredo is in February 2018.