Upholding China-Philippines Friendship,Jointly Creating a Brighter Future
Remarks by H.E. Wang Yi
State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of The People’s Republic of China At the Manila Forum for China-Philippines Relations
17 January 2022
Your ExcellencyGloria Macapagal Arroyo,
Your Excellency Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro Locsin,
Good afternoon!It is my great pleasure to join you again at theManila Forum for China-Philippines Relations. A year ago, HerExcellency Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and I announced together thelaunch of the Forum in Manila. I am very glad to see it growing rapidlyduring the past year and its role in promoting the mutual trust andcooperation between our two peoples. I would like to salute YourExcellency Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and people from all sectors in bothcountries who have worked so hard for China-Philippines friendship.
China and the Philippines are neighbors facing each other across thesea and partners through thick and thin. Not long ago, when thePhilippines was hit by a super typhoon, President Xi Jinping promptlyexpressedhis sympathies and support, and the Chinese government wasamong the first to provide emergency assistance. The Philippine peopleare strong and resilient. We believe that under the leadership of PresidentDuterte and the Philippine government, people in the affected areas willrebuild their home at an early date. To support their reconstruction, Iwould like to announce that the Chinese government has decided toprovide another 100 million RMB yuan of grant to the Philippines.
China's friendly interactions with the Philippines date back to over amillennium ago. China brings to the Philippines not colonization or war, but cooperation and friendship. The story about the King of Sulu's visit toChina was a historical epitome of our friendship. While in office, President Arroyo made many solid efforts to enhance China-Philippinesfriendship. After taking office, President Duterte made the strategicdecision to improve relations with China, and rainbows appeared inChina-Philippines relations after the rainstorms. Facts have proved thatthe decision fully conforms with the fundamental interests of thePhilippines and its people, the common interests of China and thePhilippines, and the trend toward peace and development in the region. Iam confident that people with insight from our two countries will keep tothis right direction and write more splendid chapters of China-Philippinesfriendship.
Looking ahead, China will continue to pursue a policy to foster anamicable, secure and prosperous neighborhood, and stay committed to theprinciple of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness in itsneighborhood diplomacy. We will promote greater solidarity andcooperation with the Philippines.
China will join hands with the Philippines to prevail over thepandemic.China has provided the Philippines with over 57 million dosesof COVID vaccines. We will continue to help meet the Philippines'needfor vaccines, and work with you on developing effective medicines andbuilding up public health capacity to eventually defeat the virus.
China will join hands with the Philippines to speed updevelopment and rejuvenation.The Belt and Road Initiative and the"Build, Build, Build"Strategy are now seamlessly coordinated. Irrigation, dam and telecommunications projects are moving ahead at a faster pace, and many follow-up cooperation programs such as railways and bridgesare in the pipeline. China has also supported the Philippines in importantundertakings such as the building of drug rehabilitation centers, post-conflict reconstruction in Marawi, and bridge projects in Manila. Asthe largest trading partner and export market of the Philippines, Chinawill keep its doors open to more Philippine agricultural products andmake more investment in the country, with a view to contributing to yourefforts in accelerating industrialization and modernization andcapacity-building for self-generated development.
China will join hands with the Philippines to properly handle theSouth China Sea issue. We each have our respective claims andpositions. Before an agreement can be reached, it is important that we putthe issue in a proper place and prevent it from affecting or even takinghostage the overall bilateral relationship. Stressing only one side's claimsand imposing one's own will on the other is not a proper way forneighbors to treat each other, and it also goes against the Orientalphilosophy of how people should get along with each other. China willabsolutely not use its strength to bully smaller countries, and we neverbelieve in the winner-takes-all approach. We hope to work with thePhilippines to find ways to properly manage and resolve the issue in thespirit of goodwill and pragmatism. We need to come up with the resolveas soon as possible to advance joint development without prejudice toeither side's rights and claims, so that we can turn the South China Seaissue from a challenge into an opportunity and a positive factor conduciveto the development of the Philippines and the friendship between our twopeoples.
China will join hands with the Philippines to maintain peace andstability in the region.East Asia, the shared home for China and thePhilippines, is the region with the greatest development potential in theworld. This has not come by easily, and should be doubly cherished. However, some forces outside the region are trying to frustrate this goodmomentum with repeated provocations. As two important members of theregion, China and the Philippines should stay committed to anindependent foreign policy, uphold the ASEAN-centered regionalcooperationarchitecture, deepen the China-ASEAN comprehensivestrategic partnership, and contribute to the stability and prosperity of theregion.
The year 2022 is important for both China and the Philippines. Chinawill soon enter the "Winter Olympics Time", and the Communist Party ofChina will hold its 20th National Congress later in the year. ThePhilippines also has important domestic political agenda this year. Standing at a new historical starting point, let us always bear in mind thewellbeing of our two peoples, commit to steering our friendly relations inthe right direction, follow the course charted by our top leaders, removedisturbances, deepen cooperation, and jointly usher in an even betterfuture for China-Philippines relations.