China stands ready to enter ‘new golden era’ with BBM's Philippines

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi pays a courtesy call on President Ferdinand
China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi pays a courtesy call on President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. at the Palace Music Room, Tuesday, July 6, 2022. President Marcos seeks to strengthen ties with Asia's economic giant. (Photo: PCOO)

China's policy towards the Philippines under the presidency of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. remains to be one of friendship and “turning a new page” in the bilateral relationship between the two countries, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

Wang was the second highest official from the Chinese government to meet with the new Philippine president, who also met with Vice President Wang Qishan during his inauguration on June 30. However, Malacañang has not yet released any statement about the discussions of the said meeting.

President Marcos in a tweet thanked the foreign minister and his delegation “for extending the message of congratulations and support from [Chinese] President Xi Jinping,” and revealed that they discussed “agriculture, infrastructure, energy, and our commitment to maintaining the strong relationship between our peoples in the coming years.”

Also in attendance in the meeting were Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Enrique Manalo and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian. Manalo met with the Chinese delegation earlier that day, and said that Beijing was committed to working with the new administration “in all areas of comprehensive, strategic partnership,” which could start “a new golden era” of bilateral ties between China and the Philippines.

West Philippine Sea

Meanwhile, President Marcos, in a press briefing on Tuesday, told reporters that the territorial issue in the disputed South China Sea (SCS) and renewal of the two countries’ close cooperation in various fields will be discussed with the foreign minister.

“Let’s have cultural exchanges, educational exchanges, even the military, if that will be useful. Of course, the GTG (government-to-government) [partnership] has always been there, the private sector, and joint ventures have also been there. But I think that the more that we do, the more it will help resolve the issue,” Marcos said.

Last May, Marcos said that he will approach China about the issue on SCS with “a firm voice” and would assert the country’s sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea, and would not give up “a single millimeter of our maritime coastal rights.”

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments in politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. The views expressed are his own.

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