President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo joined the Filipino-Chinese
community last night in celebrating the 7th year of friendship between
the two countries which she said recognizes the "indelible bonds
between our two countries that has enriched Philippine life for so long."
In her speech keynoting the event held at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza
Hotel in Pasay City, the President also congratulated the
Filipino-Chinese community on the 33rd anniversary of the
establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The celebration of Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day is mandated by
Presidential Proclamation No. 148 which was signed by President Arroyo
on Jan. 24, 2002 declaring June 9 as Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day.
It coincides with the establishment of formal diplomatic relations
between the Philippines and China on June 9, 1975.
"Since then our overall relations with China have become more
confident, mature, and comprehensive," the President said.
The President pointed out that as of today, Philippine-Chinese
relations are "punctuated with substantial and important projects
aimed at deepening exchanges in a number of areas, including trade,
investment and official development assistance."
She said that since China is "our largest export market," we have had
a "substantial trade surplus with China since 2002."
"Our Framework Agreement on Expanding and Deepening Bilateral Economic
and Trade Cooperation further enhances our bilateral merchandise trade
with China," the President said.
She reiterated the sympathies extended by the Filipino people towards
China after a killer quake struck Sichuan province last May 12 and
said this celebration of the two countries continued friendship
"assumes greater significance in the grim shadow of the tragedy that
struck Sichuan province a few weeks ago."
"We share in the suffering of our Chinese brethren. On behalf of the
Filipino nation, we reiterate our heartfelt sympathies to the
earthquake victims but we know that the Chinese people, under the
leadership of President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jia Bao will recover
swiftly from this tragedy, rebuild their lives and march on towards
greater progress," the President said.
She lauded the event's organizer â€" Federation of Filipino-Chinese
Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. for their contribution to
enhance "Philippine economic and social life."
"Tonight is a good occasion to thank our organizer, the Federation of
Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry not only for
hosting this and many other events to deepen the friendship between
our two countries, but also for the immense contribution of the
organization and its members to Philippine economic and social life,"
the President said.
"Your contribution and support are especially vital at this time when
the high price of fuel and food is a global problem affecting the poor
and middle classes all over the world," she added.
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