Departure Statement of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. for his State Visit to the People’s Republic of China
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. [Please take your seats] Vice President Sara Duterte; what I call our secret weapon on these trips is former president GMA; the Speaker of the House, Speaker Martin Romualdez; [Is the Ambassador here with us? Ambassador, how good to see you] His Excellency Huang Xilian, the Ambassador from the People’s Republic to the Republic of the Philippines; members of the Cabinet that are here with us today; and of course, our First Lady, Liza Marcos. You know I have to do that, otherwise, I have not completed my duty; And Pasay District Representative, yes of course, Antonino Calixto; AFP Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Bartolome Bacarro; Philippine National Police; [Ime, you’re not here] Senator Imee Marcos; Philippine National Police Chief General Rodolfo Azurin Jr.; my fellow workers in government; ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.
Isang mapagpalang araw at Manigong Bagong Taon sa inyong lahat.
I depart today for my seventh foreign travel since assuming the presidency. Upon the invitation of President Xi Jinping, I will be undertaking a 48-hour visit to the People’s Republic of China. Significantly, this will be my first bilateral visit to a non-ASEAN country.
I took a similar journey to China as a young man, several decades ago, and I was witness to a historic milestone in Philippine foreign policy as I accompanied my mother, former First Lady Imelda Marcos in 1976, as she lay the groundwork for the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries, eventually my father formally forged in June 1975, that diplomatic agreement.
Since then, I have watched the development of our bilateral ties with great interest and attention. In undertaking this trip, I continue that legacy of strengthening the bonds of friendship established between the Filipino and Chinese peoples, and fostering bilateral ties to a higher plane of cooperation.
Although diplomatic relations between the Philippines and China were established only 47 years ago, our history of friendly exchanges with our northern neighbor goes back centuries. Bilateral cooperation has grown steadily. Today, our ties are deep, multi-faceted, and mutually-beneficial.
China is our largest trading partner, a major source of official development assistance, and before the pandemic, the second largest source of tourist arrivals.
As I leave for Beijing, I will be opening a new chapter in our Comprehensive Strategic Cooperation with China. We will seek to foster meaningful relations and broaden our cooperation in various areas such as agriculture, energy, infrastructure, science and technology, trade and investment, and people-to-people exchanges, amongst others.
I look forward to my meeting with President Xi as we work towards shifting the trajectory of our relations to a higher gear that would hopefully bring numerous prospects and abundant opportunities for the peace and development to the peoples of both our countries.
In this regard, I also look forward to discussing political-security issues of a bilateral and regional nature. The issues between our two countries are problems that do not belong between two friends such as Philippines and China.
We will seek to resolve those issues to mutual benefit of our two countries.
We are rising as a nation, recovering from the ravages of a global pandemic. In our unremitting fight against the onslaught of COVID-19, our cooperation with China helped strengthen trust between our two countries. I recall our country’s profound appreciation and gratitude when China was there to extend its helping hand in the form of vaccines, personal protective equipment, and technical assistance at the initial onslaught of the pandemic. You were the first to come to our aid.
In this upcoming visit, we expect to sign more than 10 key bilateral agreements to add to the over 100 agreements we already have with China.
As our doors open up in the new normal, I will invite our Chinese neighbors to once again return to the Philippines as tourists, as students, investors. Aside from sharing the wonders of our archipelago with our Chinese friends, strengthened people-to-people exchanges will allow us to bridge gaps in understanding between our two countries at every level. I shall push for the resumption of tourism and cultural cooperation between our two countries.
In Beijing, we will seek to harness the potentials of our vibrant trade and investment relations as we accelerate the post-pandemic growth of our economy. In these meetings, I will be joined by key private sector representatives who have been and will continue to be our partners in boosting our economy.
I hope to return home to the Philippines with a harvest of agreements and investments that will benefit our countrymen and further strengthen the foundation of our economic environment.
As with my previous State Visits last year, we will continue to pursue initiatives in the priority areas that we have identified: the agricultural sector; the guarantee of food supply; the guarantee of prices — of food prices that are affordable to all Filipinos; our long-term strategies and plans on energy, particularly renewable energy; and our long-term plans for our nation’s emergence into the new global, sustainable digital economy.
Thank you very much and wish me luck on this very important trip that we are taking. [applause]
— END —
SOURCE: OPS-PND (Presidential News Desk)