New ambassador greets Philippine president

February 17, 2012 Edited by He Shan

China and the Philippines should properly resolve the disputes between the two countries with wisdom, courage and foresight, said new Chinese ambassador to the Philippines Ma Keqing on Jan. 26.

Ma made the remarks during a talk with Philippine President Benigno Aquino III at the Malacanang Palace in Manila, capital of the Philippines. Arriving in Manila on Jan. 15, Ma presented his credentials to the president prior to the talk.

Aquino said he highly appreciated the steady development of bilateral relations in recent years. He said in order to further advance cooperation between China and the Philippines, his government would work with China to actively implement the consensuses reached by the leaders of the two states during his visit to China in 2011. The Philippine president said the government designated the Chinese Lunar New Year as a public holiday for the first time in the country this year. This signals that the Chinese culture has indeed been popular with its people.

Ma said China and the Philippines have a long history of friendship, and the bilateral relations has maintained sound and steady development since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1975. Ma stressed, in a time of globalization, all countries rely on each other. Therefore, it’s vital to take into account in-depth cooperation and expansion of exchanges when furthering bilateral relations.

Ma reiterated that China is willing to join efforts with the Philippines to fully implement the consensuses reached by the leaders of both sides, and make the strategic cooperation relations even stronger.

Aquino said both countries need to contribute to strengthen cooperation, which can be carried out in various fields. He said he believed that both sides have the sincerity and determination to solve disputes between them, and there will come a proper solution if the two make joint efforts.

In recent years, Philippine officials have accused China of interfering with its oil exploration operations in the Spratlys and Paracel Islands, which China maintains are its sovereign land. Although Manila has been seeking support from other Southeast Asian governments, Beijing has said it prefers resolving the disputes with bilateral negotiations.