The 92nd Founding Anniversary of the People's Liberation Army of China Was Celebrated by the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines

The Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Republic of the Philippines held a reception on July 29, 2019 at Makati Shangri-la Hotel to celebrate the 92nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army of China (PLA).

The reception was graced by Delfin Lorenzana, Secretary of National Defense, Department of National Defense(DND), Carlos Dominguez III, Secretary of Finance, Senator Pia Cayetano, General Benjamin Madrigal Jr, Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines(AFP), Arthur I. Tabaquero, Presidential Adviser on Military Affairs, Cardozo Luna, Undersecretary of National Defense, DND, Ricardo David Jr., Undersecretary for Defense Policy, DND, Reynaldo Mapagu, Undersecretary for Civil, Veterans and Retiree Affairs, DND, Raymundo DV Elefante, Undersecretary for Finance and Materiel, DND, Senior officers from Philippine National Police, as well as some 400 guests.

His Excellency Zhao Jianhua, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China, said in his speech that since its birth in 1927, the PLA has embarked on an extraordinary journey to achieve independence and liberation of the Chinese nation, safeguard China's sovereignty, security and development. Meanwhile, the PLA has been relentlessly making efforts to safeguard regional and world peace and stability, which include actively participating in UN peacekeeping operations and escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia.

Ambassador Zhao said that since His Excellency President Duterte took office in 2016, China-Philippines relations have achieved positive turnaround, have been consolidated and been elevated to that of comprehensive strategic cooperation. Military-to-military relationship has become a very important pillar of the bilateral relations. The Chinese PLA is ready to deepen mutual understanding, mutual trust, and mutual confidence with Filipino counterpart. So that jointly we will promote further cooperation and friendship between our two nations, two countries and jointly we can ensure regional peace and stability.

Ambassador Zhao said the South China Sea issue is not something we have today. It's being part of the history. But over the past decades, China has been firmly adhering to the policy of peaceful settlement. This policy will remain and will continue. South China Sea issue cannot be settled overnight. So we should be patient. Right now we need to put our differences in proper context. We cannot let the 1% difference hold the whole 99% of friendship and cooperation as hostage. China and the Philippines have established bilateral consultation mechanism on the South China Sea which has played a very important role in managing differences, promoting maritime cooperation and safeguarding peace and stability in the South China Sea. China will continue to work with the Philippines and other states directly concerned, through bilateral negotiation and consultation on the basis of respecting historical fact and in accordance with international law, to resolve relevant disputes in the South China Sea and jointly safeguard the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea.

On behalf of Department of National Defense, Republic of the Philippines, Secretary Delfin Lorenzana extended warm greetings and profound salutations to the PLA on its 92nd year of service to the Chinese people. Secretary Lorenzana said, 'The Philippines is faithful in pursuing an independent foreign policy, thus our international defense engagements with different countries pursue our standing as a friend to all and enemy to no one. We are also committed to the resolution of disputes through peaceful means. It is our hope that the line of communication between our two armed forces remains open, transparent and honest'. He further added, 'We anticipate more mutually productive and beneficial cooperation with you to create greater understanding and friendship between our two nations.' 

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