Chinese Embassy in Manila hosts the 2020 Online Media Christmas Party
2020/12/11

On 10 December 2020, the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines hosted the 2020 Online Media Christmas Party to cerebrate the coming Christmas and the New Year 2021. Present during the event are Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian, Secretary Martin Andanar of the Presidential Communications Office, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Philippine media executives, editors, journalists, columnists, bloggers and Chinese correspondents in the Philippines.

In his keynote speech, Ambassador Huang Xilian looked forward to prospects in the coming new year and elaborated on new blueprint for China's development, new achievements of China-Philippines cooperation and new future of China-Philippines relations.

First, a new blueprint for China's development. Over the past year, with arduous efforts under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, the Chinese people have controlled the corona virus and China is expected to be the only major economy to see growth this year. By the end of this year, China will build a moderately prosperous society in all respects, eliminate absolute poverty for the first time in thousand-years-history, and achieve the first Centenary Goal. At this critical juncture, we have just held an extremely important meeting called the Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. The meeting provided guidelines for China's economic and social development in the next 5 to 15 years, put forward new development concepts and defined new development requirements. By 2035, China will reach the level of a moderately developed country. This would make China the first non-Western country with a population of 1 billion in history to realize industrialization and modernization, which would provide a useful reference for other developing countries to realize their own national development goals.

In 2021, China will embark on a new journey of building a modern socialist country in an all-round way, which is China's second Centenary Goal by 2050. China will speed up the establishment of a "dual circulation" development pattern in which domestic economic cycle plays a leading role while international economic cycle serves as its extension and supplement. China will adhere to its fundamental national policy of opening-up and actively promote international cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative. We will unswervingly promote opening-up on a higher level, significantly relax market access, create a more attractive environment to investments, implement high-standard policies of trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. This will certainly bring more cooperation opportunities to countries including the Philippines and inject strong momentum into the recovery of the world economy.

Second, the new achievements of China-Philippines cooperation. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of China-Philippines diplomatic relations. Under the strategic guidance of President Xi Jinping and President Duterte, China-Philippines relations have entered a "new golden age" and cooperation in various fields has achieved fruitful results. With strong conviction, our two leaders have pushed forward the bilateral relations in the right direction while overcoming differences and external interference.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, our two governments and people have supported each other and stood together in solidarity, writing a new chapter of partnership in an new era. Meanwhile, we have worked closely and steadily pushed forward the synergy of the Belt and Road Initiative and the "Build Build Build" plan, contributing to the Philippine economic recovery. So far, we have completed 11 inter-governmental cooperation projects, covering drug control, anti-terrorism, food security, radio and television services and other fields. 6 more projects are under implementation and 18 projects are under planning, involving infrastructure such as roads and railways, flood control and irrigation and other livelihood projects.

Third, the new future of China-Philippines relations. China and the Philippines are Asian neighbors, and the future of both countries lies in the prosperity and stability of Asia. The collective rise of Asian countries is a distinctive feature of the unprecedented changing landscape in the world. China's rapid development over the past decades is the result of the unremitting efforts of the Chinese people under the strong leadership of the CPC. It also benefits from a peaceful and stable neighbourhood and booming regional cooperation. I firmly believe that, like China, the future of the Philippines will be deeply rooted in its national development, in its friendly neighbourhood and in the big Asian family of peace, stability and common prosperity.

Ambassador Huang emphasized that moving forward, China and the Philippines should seize the opportunity of economic recovery in the post-pandemic era, fully play to their respective advantages, promote practical cooperation in economy, trade, investment, humanities and other fields, and better accomplish mutual benefit and win-win results. The pandemic has nurtured the digital economy featuring 5G network applications, distance network education, artificial intelligence and other new businesses, which have sparked changes in the way of life and in production. China and the Philippines have respective advantages in the fields, and we should explore for more cooperation in the digital economy.

Secretary Andanar expressed his sincere wish to a blessed and safe Christmas celebration. He said this occasion symbolizes hope, love, and life, manifested through the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. At this time the media and communications have truly become more essential. Let us all therefore be reminded of our vital role of informing and engaging the public, as media practitioners, while observing all health protocols promulgated by the government. We thank the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines for hosting this virtual event and everyone participating amidst the pandemic. May the spirit of Christmas continue to inspire us to be a source of hope, care, giving, and love for all, as we collectively heal from COVID-19.

Secretary Roque began by greeting each and everyone a Merry Christmas. He said that China has been a good friend of the Philippines, and our relationship entered a golden age during the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, and our friends here from the media have documented these ties that have strengthened in the last 4 years. Indeed, it is through the press that our people become acquainted with the work in progress of the President and its administration. It is for this reason that we in government acknowledge the purpose of media to keep in public spotlight every decision and action that we make since everything the government does is to be done on behalf of the people.

During the event, guests also watched a film on China's social development achievements and China-Philippines cooperation, and participated in interactive games such as a quiz on Chinese knowledge. The party was full of cheerful and enthusiastic atmosphere.

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