World, Asia - Pacific

China seeks new Philippines president's cooperation for 'golden age'

Chinese vice president tells Marcos Jr. 2 sides ‘should properly resolve differences, safeguard peace in South China Sea’

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 01.07.2022
China seeks new Philippines president's cooperation for 'golden age'


China forwarded a four-point proposal to the newly-inaugurated president of the Philippines to “usher in a new golden age” in bilateral ties.

After attending the oath-taking ceremony of Ferdinand Marcos Jr., China’s Vice President Wang Qishan hailed the Marcos family for its “great contributions to enhancing the China-Philippines friendship.”

Marcos Jr. was inaugurated as the 17th president of the archipelago nation at a ceremony in Manila on Thursday.

“The Chinese side has always given priority to the Philippines in its neighborhood diplomacy, and is ready to work with the new Philippine government in carrying on their friendship, boosting mutual trust and deepening cooperation so as to usher in a new ‘golden age’ in bilateral ties,” Wang told the Filipino president.

Beijing’s gestures to Manila come after Marcos Jr. last month said: “There is no wiggle room there. Our sovereignty is sacred. We will not compromise it in any way.”

His statement had come in response to Manila’s conflict with Beijing in the hotly contested South China Sea where the two countries share maritime borders.

However, early this month Marcos Jr. said China was “our close neighbor and good friend,” adding that the Philippines “will continue to pursue an independent foreign policy.”

The two countries contested the South China Sea at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in 2016 where Manila emerged victorious as Beijing’s claims over the resource-rich sea were invalidated by The Hague-based authority.

Marcos Jr.’s predecessor Rodrigo Duterte had indicated that he would “set aside” the international tribunal’s ruling in a bid to strengthen ties with Beijing.

However, China’s Wang proposed Marcos Jr. that the two sides “should properly resolve differences and jointly safeguard peace and tranquility in the South China Sea.”

China and the Philippines normalized diplomatic relations in 1975.

Beijing and Manila, Wang suggested, “should develop bilateral relations under the guidance of the two heads of state, who will steer the course of the development of bilateral ties.”

“The two countries should dovetail their development strategies so as to foster new growth points of pragmatic cooperation in the new era,” Chinese state-run Xinhua News Agency quoted Wang.

Urging respect for international equality and justice, Wang said the two countries should “jointly promote peace and development in Asia, as well as the well-being of humanity.”

Marcos told Wang that the bilateral relationship between the Philippines and China “has a long history and the two peoples are close to each other.”

“Describing China as the most powerful partner of the Philippines, Marcos stressed that good-neighborly friendship is in the fundamental interests of both peoples,” Xinhua News Agency reported.

“The new Philippine government attaches utmost importance to the relations with China, and is willing to deepen its participation in the joint construction of the Belt and Road, join hands with China in coping with regional challenges, and elevate the bilateral ties to a higher level,” Marcos added.​​​​​​​

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.