On the evening of January 23, 2017, the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Republic of the Philippines celebrated the 2017 spring festival with a reception held at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel.
Around 700 guests attended the celebration, and filled the Rizal Ballroom of the Shangri-La Hotel with an air of joy and excitement.
Among the dignitaries present during the event were Senator Cynthia Villar and Loren Legarda, Philippine Ambassador-designate to China Chito Sta. Romana, former President and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and leaders from the Filipino-Chinese community.
Ambassador Zhao Jianhua led the event with his opening remarks that highlighted the memorable new chapter of China-Philippines relations in 2016. Ambassador Zhao said that President Duterte paid a historic and fruitful state visit to China last October and the two countries have charted a course of peace, amity and bilateral cooperation in various fields. Both sides are now working hand in hand to vigorously transform all the inked agreements into tangible benefits for our two peoples. With the confidence we draw from the recent progress, we are sure to achieve a promising outlook of China-Philippines relations this coming 2017 with the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN in the Philippines' chairmanship and the 600th Anniversary of the first visit by the Sultan of Sulu to China. Particularly, in line with the further development of China's Belt and Road Initiative, the two countries are to reap more harvest in terms of infrastructure development, connectivity and people-to-people exchanges.
"The relationship rests on the solid foundation of broad-based political support and public goodwill in both China and the Philippines, and therefore, will continue to progress in breadth and depth in the future," said Ambassador Zhao.
The celebration included a spectacle of performances such as a dance by the Chinese diplomats of the Chinese Embassy, a fan dance performance from the Overseas Chinese Association dance troupe, a new years' song performance, and a martial art performance.
The guests were also exposed to various Chinese cultural traditions such as tea ceremonies, Chinese calligraphy, and Chinese New Year's fortune charms and ornaments brought by the Confucius Institute of China.
The event was filled with happiness and appreciation for the achievements realized by China in the past year and for the hopes of a brighter future in China-Philippines relations.
2017 marks the year of the rooster for the Chinese Zodiac, a year that will bring strength and fortune for everyone.