Welcome Remarks by Ambassador Zhao Jianhua for The Port Call at Davao by The Chinese PLA Navy Task Group

30 April 2017, Sasa Wharf, Davao City



Dear Friends,  

Ladies and Gentlemen,


Good afternoon!


As an ancient Chinese saying goes, "What a delight to have friends coming in from afar." Today, in Davao, the luminous pearl of Southern Mindanao, we welcome the visiting Navy Task Group 150 of the Chinese People's Liberation Army. Beautiful sunshine we now have and smiling faces we now see are making our hearts filled with warmth and joy. Today is not just another summer day in Davao, but an exciting day to witness a partnership between China and the Philippines that expands and endures. We are here not only to welcome these dazzling vessels rendering a good-will visit to this beautiful archipelago, but also share the friendly sentiments of the Chinese people towards the Philippine people. On this note, may I express my sincerest appreciation to the Philippine Naval Forces and Davao City authorities. Without your facilitating efforts and meticulous arrangements, we won't be able to push this mission through in such an effective manner.   


Ladies and Gentlemen,


Our two great countries are not only bonded by history and blood, but also committed to the common aspiration of national development, social progress, people's well-being, and regional peace and stability. Military-to-military exchanges would greatly contribute to this grand cause by nurturing our mutual trust and affirming our shared destiny.  


H.E. President Duterte's state visit to China last year has ushered in an new era of China-Philippines relationship and cooperation, while this port call of Task Group 150 at Davao would open up a new page of friendly exchanges not only between our two navies, but also our two peoples. This port call is more than special and significant because it marks the first-ever visit by foreign navy vessels to Davao, the beloved hometown of President Duterte. Tomorrow, we will further have the privilege to invite President Duterte to board the flagship, which would demonstrate his strong support to enriching amity and enhancing fraternity between our two navies. I am convinced that this historic moment would be recorded as one of the fondest memories in China-Philippines relationship.


Starting from Davao, the Navy Task Group 150 would be visiting more than 20 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania. This record-making mission would last almost 180 days, which stands out as the longest expedition by the Chinese Navy since it was established 68 years ago. Known as Blue Envoys in China, these vessels would carry with them greetings from the peace-loving Chinese people and present to the world a navy of openness, self-confidence, civility and responsibility.


Ladies and Gentlemen,


A journey with a thousand miles begins with a single step, while this great journey of Task Group 150 begins with its initial step in Davao of the Republic of the Philippines, one of China's greatest neighbors, friends and partners. We are all honored to be part of this great journey and let's wish Task Group 150 a successful visit to the Philippines and a smooth sailing all the way through its journey around the world.


Thank you and Mabuhay!


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