30th Anniversary of China-Philippine Diplomatic Relations Celebrated in Manila

On 9 June 2005, a grand reception in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of the Philippines was held in Manila. The reception was sponsored by Chinese Embassy, Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines and Federation of Pilipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FFCCCII).

Ambassador Wu Hongbo

More than 1600 guests attended the reception. Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, former President Fidel V. Ramos, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alberto G. Romulo and many other senior government officials and dignitaries were also present.

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

Secretary Romulo and Chinese Ambassador Wu Hongbo delivered messages. President Arroyo delivered a keynote address.

From left to right: Ambassador Wu Hongbo, Philippine former President Fidel Ramos, Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce An Ming

Both President Arroyo and Secretary Romulo hailed the great achievements in China-Philippine relations since the establishment of the diplomatic ties and spoke highly of the extensive and fruitful cooperation in political, economic, cultural and other fields in recent years. They also pledged to further enhance the mutually beneficial relationship in the years ahead.

Photo Exibition of 30th anniversary
of China-RP diplomatic relations

Second from left: The 17th Generation of Sultan
of East Sulu from Shangdong province of China.

The following is the full text of Amb. Wu Hongbo's message:

Speech at the Reception in Celebration of the 30th  Anniversary of
Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between
People's Republic of China and the Republic of the Philippines
Ambassador Wu Hongbo
(Manila Hotel, June 9, 2005)

Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President of the
Republic of the Philippines,
Honorable Alberto Romulo, Secretary of Foreign Affairs,
Dr. Francis Chua, President of the Federation of
Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry,
Colleagues from the Diplomatic Corps,
Ladies and Gentlemen:

Good Evening!

Today marks both the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of the Philippines and the 4th Philippine-China Friendship Day. On such a special day of historic significance in our bilateral history, may I extend, on behalf of the Chinese Government and people, warm congratulations to Her Excellency President Arroyo and the Philippine people and also our warm welcome to all the distinguished guests present this evening!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Over 500 years ago, the Sultans of Sulu visited China and their visits left with us some touching stories. Today, the decedents of the Sultan of East Sulu living in China have returned for the first time in 588 years to the Philippines and they are right here with us this evening to celebrate our time-honored friendship. The decedents are: Mr. An Jintian, the 17th generation of the Sultan of East Sulu; Mr. An Yanchun and Mr. Wen Haijun, the 18th generation. Let's welcome them with a round of warm applause.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, 30 years ago, leaders of our two countries, in the common aspiration of enhancing the traditional friendship between China and the Philippines, signed the historic Joint Communiqué, and decided to establish diplomatic relations at ambassadorial level, thus opening up a new page in the history of our bilateral relations.

Over the past 30 years, thanks to the concerted efforts of our Governments and peoples, our traditional friendship has been growing stronger and developing further, and our friendly ties and cooperation have scored fast progress with remarkable achievements. Our trade increased from only 65 million USD in 1975 to 13.3 billion USD in 2004, up by more than 200 times. The hybrid rice and hybrid corns jointly-cultivated by Chinese and Filipino experts are doing extremely well, each with an unprecedented yielding of over 10 tons per hectare. The construction of North Rail project, irrigation systems and fishing ports, financed by the Chinese Government with 1 billion USD loan, have been making smooth progress. At present, companies from our two countries are discussing the possibilities of mining cooperation and the MOUs signed will involve Chinese investment of nearly 1 billion USD. There are now over 600 young Filipinos studying in China and more than 500 Chinese students in the Philippines. 100 young people from each country will visit each other this year. Recently, our two countries had our first annual defense and security consultation in Manila. We will soon send resident police liaison officer to each other's capital in our joint efforts to crack down transnational crimes. The South China Sea cooperation jointly initiated by our two countries has made historical contribution to the promotion of regional peace, stability and development.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

President Arroyo and President Hu Jintao made successful state visits to each other last September and April this year. During these visits, our two Presidents achieved important consensus on the future development of our bilateral relations, set up a new goal of raising the bilateral trade to 30 billion USD by the year 2010, and agreed to forge strategic cooperative relations for peace and development. As our Presidents said that China-Philippine relations have now entered a new golden age of partnership.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our amicable relations today are not something easy to achieve and are indispensable to the unremitting efforts of both the Philippine Government and people, for which the Chinese Government and people are sincerely grateful. Here I wish to take this opportunity to express our special gratitude to Your Excellency, President Arroyo, for your untiring efforts in promoting mutual understanding and friendship between our two peoples when you were a leading member of the Association for Philippine-China Understanding (APCU) before the establishment of our diplomatic ties, and in particular for your important contributions to the development of our friendly and cooperative relations as senator, vice President and President of the Republic of the Philippines. Our special thanks also go to all those Filipino friends who worked so hard to promote our friendship and understanding before and after the establishment of our diplomatic ties.

Two million Filipino Chinese, who have lived in this beautiful archipelago for generations, are our good friends and dear relatives. For many years, they have been living in harmony and amity with local people on this land, enduring hardship and sharing happiness together, and have made unique and important contributions to revitalizing the Filipino national economy and promoting Sino-Filipino friendship. Now I wish to extend, on behalf of the Chinese Government and people, our cordial greetings and sincere appreciation to all of you.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thirty years are only a twinkling second in the history of our thousand-years-old relations. However, the past 30 years have witnessed the fastest development of our bilateral ties and the most fruitful cooperation. Ancient Chinese philosopher, Confucius once said, "A person became firmly established at the age of thirty". We are confident that, the firmly-established China-Philippine relations will continue to move forward in the future along the course charted by our Presidents so as to bring more tangible results to our two peoples and to contribute more to the regional stability and prosperity.

May friendship between China and the Philippines last forever.

Thank you all.

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