Speech by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at the Award for Promoting Philippines-China Understanding (APPCU) Award Ceremony
Thank you very much to Secretary Ben Diokno for his kind introduction. [Please, please take your seats.]
His Excellency Ambassador Huang Xilian, the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China; members of the Cabinet present here with us today; the honorable members of the Senate; and of course, the Association for the Philippines-China Understanding Chairman Raul Lambino; 2023 APPCU awardees; my fellow workers in government; ladies and gentlemen, good evening.
It is a great pleasure and honor to join you here today for the Association for Philippines-China Understanding Award Ceremony, if only to demonstrate how important this Ceremony is for us and all that it symbolizes.
Indeed, this evening is significant for a variety of reasons.
It is a fitting prelude to our celebration of the 48th year of the formal establishment of the relations between Philippines and China–a significant event of our history that reckoned from the presidency of my father.
Built on a long and rich history of commercial and cultural exchange and intermingling, this bilateral relationship has been a boon to our country’s economic strength over the past years.
The figures say it all. Following centuries-old trade history, China has emerged as our top partner in terms of total trade: ranking first as our import source; and second as our export destination. China and its Special Administrative Regions are also second home to a substantial number of Overseas Filipinos.
This evening’s Award Ceremony is likewise an occasion not only to honor individuals for their key achievements. It is also an opportunity to recognize our collective efforts as a nation to nurture and strengthen this healthy relationship that has served us so well through the years.
We appreciate the initiative of the Association [for] Philippines-China Understanding (APCU) in having organized this event, and all its efforts to strengthen the bond between our nations through all these years.
The role of the former President, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in rejuvenating the APCU organization, which led in many ways to the launching of these Awards, must certainly be recognized. In doing so, she recognized the great importance of maintaining mutual understanding between our two countries.
Perhaps the highlight of this Awards night is the high recognition bestowed to the former President of our Republic—our Tatay Digong Duterte. And I join the entire nation in recognizing the former President for his strong leadership and for all that he has done in building a more resilient nation.
But [beyond] the revelry of tonight’s proceedings, there is a lot more that we can and must do to celebrate our bilateral ties.
Time and again, we have proven that it is in our mutual interest to preserve the special rapport and kindred spirit that we have established and nurtured throughout our history. So we will exert our utmost efforts to strengthen this relationship.
We will strive to make it more comprehensive, more strategic, all with a view to advancing the paramount interests of both our nations and our peoples. [applause]
It is my firm belief that our relationship must not be defined by our innate differences. We may have such differences, all friends do. But we recognize in the Philippines the commitment of President Xi and the People’s Republic of China to overcome such difficulties and I can assure our good Ambassador here that that commitment also is present in the Philippines’ efforts to bring us closer together — Philippines and the People’s Republic of China. [applause]
So let us be bound rather by our similarities, our common purpose, our shared goals. As a guiding principle, we will pursue constant dialogue and an amicable approach to our decision-making and the resolution of issues.
Being a peace-loving nation, we will adhere, for all intents and purposes, to the fundamental adage that good communication is key to a good relationship.
For the honorees this evening, the saying is very appropriate: “The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do even more”.
Our esteemed awardees shall have fresh motivation to pursue their worthy causes with more vigor. But they will also serve as exemplars for our countrymen to emulate, and to provide the spark to generate and spread goodwill between our countries and our peoples.
All in all, we will draw collective inspiration and firmer resolve from these proceedings. We will depend on this relationship more than ever, as we push towards the half- century of our diplomatic relationship. And we will call upon APCU to assist us in this effort.
To end, let me say that I have nothing but bright optimism for the future of the bilateral ties of the Philippines and China. Let us continue to work together to usher in an exciting chapter for our respective nations, one in which peace and mutual progress will be at the heart of the stories that we will write side-by-side—as friends, as partners, and as neighbors.
Once again, congratulations to this year’s APPCU awardees.
Mabuhay ang APCU! Mabuhay ang magandang ugnayan sa pagitan ng ating bansa at ng Tsina!
Maraming salamat at magandang gabi po sa inyong lahat! Xiè xie!
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