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A bridge of understanding and friendship




“Open our hearts to one another.”

This was the theme of the speech of His Excellency Huang Xilian, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines, at the award ceremony for the First Prize for the Promotion of Philippines-China Understanding. While the occasion honors those who have been instrumental in promoting mutual understanding and friendship between the Philippines and China, it is understandable that the Chinese Ambassador focuses on the relationship and his perspective between the two countries. Ambassador Huang even traced the history of friendship and cooperation between China and the Philippines, stretching back centuries when in the early 1500s, the great Chinese navigator Zheng He led a huge delegation and made multiple visits to Manila Bay, the Visayas and the Sulu Archipelago on his seven overseas trips in search of trade and friendship, which were paid by the eastern king of Sulu Paduka Pahala who has returned and made a goodwill visit to China. “These are just a few of the many extraordinary representatives of our two peoples who share common aspirations to live in peace and harmony. Looking at history, we will find that our two peoples have natural aspirations to get to know each other and to develop friendships. Today, we must inherit and pass on the spirit of our ancestors to continue this journey of mutual understanding and friendship, ”Huang said in his speech during the virtual program. As a common practice in Chinese speeches, Huang cited a Chinese saying: “Only heart-to-heart exchanges can last a long time,” when he called on both sides to “open their hearts.” “To this end, we must raise awareness, reduce misinterpretations, manage differences and promote bridges of understanding and cooperation. China and the Philippines have great potential for cooperation in the field of interpersonal and socio-cultural exchanges, and the two peoples still have a lot to learn from each other, ”said the Chinese ambassador. “As in any relationship, some misunderstandings and differences are inevitable, but the most lasting memories are the joys of overcoming hardships together and enjoying the fruits of cooperation together,” he added. One of the recipients, a friend, Herman Laurel, acknowledged Huang’s appeal noting that “the Philippines being geostrategically located as the gateway to the Western Pacific to enter the East, has been the gateway to entry for the Western powers of the 20th century bringing conflict to Asia. “Today, as some Western powers seek to contain the Pacific East, the Philippines is the fulcrum,” Laurel said. Another laureate, another dear friend, Ado Paglinawan, said that the conditions for promoting friendship and understanding between China and the Philippines are now more favorable because “it was difficult during the Aquino administration which was hostile. it is up to China to balance its views on the South China Sea. debate. “And it was also not easy, according to Paglinawan, to be the first to give the impression in the midst of the current pandemic that COVID-19 is not from Wuhan but from the United States.” However, as the Americans would say, these are times that test the souls of men, to which I refer in repartee, only the truth will set us free, “he said. But if we could foster understanding and friendship not only with China but also with the rest of the world, that would be highly preferable, if not the only thing preferable. Because no less than Chinese President Xi Jinping has taken Ambassador Huang’s appeal to another level – to l ‘globally. In a statement, the Chinese Embassy revealed that last Friday, Xi Jinping received a phone call from US President Joseph Biden, the two leaders sharing “frank, in-depth and in-depth strategic communication and exchanges on Sino-American relations nes and relevant matters of mutual interest. ” After expressing his sympathy to Biden and the American people for the human and economic toll in several places in the United States caused by Hurricane Ida that Biden would have appreciated, Xi Jinping went on to point out that for a while, due to the US policy on China, Sino-US relations have encountered serious difficulties. Highlighting an ancient Chinese poem, “Mountains and rivers may block the path, another village will appear among willows and blossoming flowers,” Xi Jinping stressed, “When China and the United States cooperate, the two country and the world will benefit; when China and the United States clash, the two countries and the world will suffer. “Restoring the relationship is not an option, but something that we must do and do well,” Xi said, adding that “the two countries should look to the future and move forward, show strategic courage and political determination, and bring China and the United States to the right path of stable development as soon as possible for the benefit of the peoples of both countries and around the world. this one, nothing could be more welcome news than something that promotes understanding, friendship, cooperation and everything in between.

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