Remarks by H.E. Ma Keqing Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the Republic of Philippines at the Reception upon the Assumption of Office
Dusit Thani, 20 February 2012

Your Honorable Vice President Jejomar C. Binay,

Your Honorable Foreign Secretary Del Rosario


Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Evening! Mahal Kong mga Kaibigan, Magandang Gabi!

Let me begin by thanking you all for coming to my reception. In particular, I would like to welcome and thank two of my respected predecessors, H.E. Ambassador Wang Yingfan, former Vice Foreign Minister, and H.E. Ambassador Wang Chungui for being with us tonight as our guests of honor. Let's give them a warm welcome.

Having been involved in the European affairs for quite some time, my assignment to the Philippines really opens up a brand new horizon for me. The past one month and five days has been hectic, but rewardingly inspiring. As a newcomer, I have come here only to discover a country with charming nature, hospitable people and enormous potentialities, and a country both geographically and historically close to China. Centuries-long people-to-people exchanges have forged an unbreakable bond between our two countries.

Established 37 years ago, the China-Philippines diplomatic relations have never been so strong. The frequent interactions between our state leaders and high-ranking officials, ever growing trade, economic cooperation and cultural exchanges, and friendly sentiments from ordinary Filipinos and local Chinese community all speak for the fact that we are good neighbors and good partners. I have every reason to believe that our two countries will continue to build on a good-neighborly friendship and a strategic and cooperative relationship.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are living in a world, which is undergoing political challenges, economic uncertainties and institutional adjustments. All countries, major powers included, are increasingly interdependent. In a way, we are sailing in the same boat. Only by working together, can we steer the boat to the desired destination. Being fully aware of her responsibilities, China is pursuing a peaceful development in a steadfast manner. We see our role as a contributing one to peace, stability and development in the region and the world at large. Instead of the alleged hard landing, China's economy will sustain a stable and fairly fast growth. It is estimated that, during the current Five-Year Plan period, China's economy will generate a domestic demand amounting to USD 5 trillion, an import demand topping USD 8 trillion, and an overseas investment of USD 500 billion.

Here lies the convergence with the economic development drive of the Philippine Government. As an English saying goes, "Time and tide wait for no man". It is my sincere hope that, for the well-being of our two peoples, we should further strengthen the existing cooperation to mutual benefit, with the priorities given to agriculture, energy, tourism and infrastructure development.

Having said that, I have to say with all my frankness that there are issues on which we disagree with each other. However, my conviction is that, through constructive communication and practical cooperation building on mutual trust, a peaceful solution could be attained. I would like to share with you a Chinese poem, "I do not fear that the flowing clouds may block my vision, for where I stand is the top of the mountain." Our common vision is to have an ever better and stronger relationship between China and the Philippines. From such a height, and with concerted efforts by both sides, I am sure that we will deliver a promising and flourishing future for China-Philippines relations. To that end, I will exert my utmost. I am truly looking forward to the significant role to be played by each and every one present here and tonight.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On that note, may I invite you to join me in a toast,

To the everlasting friendship and cooperation between China and the Philippines and to your good health.

Para sa pagiging magkaibigan kooperasyon! Mabuhay!

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