Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Huang Xilian at the Chinese Embassy Christmas Party and the Reception in Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of Macau’s Return to China
Your Honorable Secretary Martin Andanar, Your Honorable Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, Distinguished Guests, Media Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good evening. First of all, a heartfelt welcome to all of you coming to this special night. Standing here, meeting so many Filipino friends with delight, inspired by the joyful atmosphere, I get three key words popping into mind. And I would like to share with you my thoughts on them. There are three “A”s.
The first key word is Appreciation.
• The Chinese Embassy has held
the Christmas Party for seven consecutive years. Themed with friendship, the party is mainly for our media friends.
• In the past year, you did an excellent job in covering news and stories on the positive progress of China-Philippines relations, and closely following the development of China. It is through you, that our two peoples get to know each other better, understand each other better and bond with each oth-er more closely.
• On behalf of the Embassy, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to you, and through you to all media friends, for the consistent support to China-Philippines relations and the Chinese Embassy.
• Being new here, I look forward to making friends with Philippine media, with an aim to strengthening our future co-
operation and friendship.
The second key word is Accomplishment.
History tells us that, two nations who appreciate each other, can always be able to live in amity and progress together. So is the story of China and the Philippines.
• Let the statistics speak loud of themselves.
• China is now the Philippines’ top trading partner, the largest source of imports and exports market as well as the larg-est foreign investment origin and the second largest tourist source.
• In the ?rst ten months of this year, our bilateral trade volume reached USD 49.8 billion with a 7.2% year-on-year increase. In the ?rst three quarters of 2019, more than 1.1 million tons of Philippine bananas were exported to China, bringing US$ 493 million of income to the Filipino farmers.
• Currently, more than 40 major Chinese enterprises invest in the Philippines, directly or indirectly generating 26,000 job opportunities for local people. For the ?rst ten months in 2019, the newly added investment from China reached US$ 33.4 million, representing a year-on-year increase of 45.7%.
• Up to last October, more than 1.5 million Chinese tourists have visited the Philippines, increased by 41% on year-on-year basis.
• The Chico River Pump Irrigation, New Centennial Water Source Kaliwa Dam and the Philippine National Railway’s South Long Haul are being pushed forward in a steady pace, and will contribute to the development of agriculture and transportation in the Phil-ippines. More than a dozen ?agship infrastructure projects are in the pipeline to be completed in the next few years.
• China has provided RMB 2.75 billion (around USD 398 million) of grants and close to USD 500 million of soft loans to the Philippines to support its Build Build Build Plan, and another RMB 3 billion (around USD 421 million) of grant will be further provided from 2019-2022. Now altogether ten projects have been completed, bringing tangible bene?ts to local people.
• Immense achievements are made by our two nations, yet the aforementioned ?gures are just a very small fraction of the whole picture. Increasing volume of trade and mutual visits demonstrates our interwoven development interests.
• Characterized with peace and amity, China-Philippines cooperation is bringing us to the common prosperity shared by
• More importantly, we have achieved the progress of cooperation while handled differences in a constructive manner, in pursuit of the true spirit of ‘seek common ground while reserving differences’.
This will easily lead to the third key word: Aspiration.
• Under the strategic guidance of President Xi Jinping and President Duterte, Chi-na-Philippines relations are ushering in a new Golden Age. Pushing forward the stable development of China-Philippines comprehensive strategic cooperation has become our common aspiration.
• Next year is the 45th anni-versary of the establishment of China-Philippines dip-lomatic relations, celebration activities ranging from political visits to economic cooperation, from culture events to think tanks exchanges are already on the schedule. Taking this great opportunity, we expect to work closely with our Fili-pino friends, to expand our people-to-people exchanges, and enhance the mutual trust between our two countries.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Not long ago, we successfully celebrated the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China. On December 20, we will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Macao’s Return to motherland.
• As demonstrated in the photo exhibition at the entrance, Macao SAR has achieved rapid economic growth, steadily improved people’s livelihood, and enjoyed social harmony, embarking on a journey of unity, stability and prosperity since the return.
• As one of the world’s fastestgrowing economies for many years, Macao’s GDP reached MOP 444.67 billion last year, with a per capita GDP of US$83,000.
• Its law and order have been signi?cantly improved. Its life expectancy is among the highest in the world. It is one of the safest cities and preferred tourist destinations, attracting 36 million tourist arrivals in 2018.
• Moreover, the Belt and Road Initiative and the Guang-dong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area are creating more opportunities for Macao’s external exchanges. Today, Macao passport holders can travel to 144 countries and regions visa-free or with visa-upon-arrival, compared with only three such destinations at the beginning of its return to the motherland.
• All the above shows that “One Country, Two Systems” is successful and right in Ma-cao SAR.
The same is Hong Kong SAR. Recently, the situation in Hong Kong has attracted much attention.
• Actually the nature of the issue is that extreme violent offenders encouraged and supported by some external forces, have disrupted law and order in Hong Kong, attempted to de-stabilize Hong Kong and undermine “One Country, Two Systems”.
• Such violent offences have pushed Hong Kong into an extremely dangerous situation. They have also put at risk the interests of 230,000 Overseas Filipino Workers in Hong Kong.
• Just as President Xi Jinping pointed out: “The top priority for Hong Kong is to end violence and restore order. We will continue to ?rmly support the SAR Government under the leadership of the Chief Executive in governing Hong Kong in accordance with law. We ?rmly support the judicial institutions of Hong Kong in bringing violent offenders to justice in accordance with law.”
• At the same time, the Chinese Government remains unwav-ering in its determination to safeguard China’s national sov-ereignty, security and development interests, implement ‘One Country, Two Systems’, and oppose any interference from external forces in Hong Kong affairs.
• I sincerely hope that the Phil-ippine people will bear in mind the larger picture and have a clear understanding of the current situation. I hope you will support the SAR Government in ending violence, restoring order and upholding the rule of law, resist and oppose any words or deeds that interfere in Hong Kong affairs, and do more things that are conducive to the prosperity and stability in Hong Kong.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Connected by the history, China and Philippines are always close neighbors, good friends and great partners. Just like the Chinese proverb says, “Neighbors wish each other well, just as loved ones do to each other”. The development of China-Philippines relations needs the public support of both countries. I hope our media friends could open an objective and balancing window, letting the people not only see the whole picture of our relations, but see the tangible bene?ts that the China-Philippines cooperation brings to the peoples, while not just small dots or differences.
Looking to the future, the best is yet to come. At such an important historical juncture, it is a great honor for me to serve as China’s Ambassador to the Philippines. Together with my colleagues and Filipino friends, I will make every effort to work for the China-Philippines relations with broader prospects and promise, elevate the three “A”s to “A Plus”, and bring a brighter future bene?ting both Chinese and Philippine people.
Thank you and Mabuhay!