President Aquino underscore importance of dialogue and mutual respect in dealing with China

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President Benigno Aquino III said he hopes that dialogue and mutual respect could resolve the present differences between the Philippines and China.

“Whenever we face divisiveness or disagreements, I call on all of us to go back to the reason as to why we are embarking on these endeavors to strengthen our partnerships in the first place, whether they be with other nations, or with private organizations such as yours,” the President said in his speech before the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII) on Saturday evening.

The President was the keynote speaker at FFCCCII’s joint celebration of the 113th Philippine Independence Day, the 150th Birth Anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal, 36th Anniversary of the Philippines-China Diplomatic Relations and the 10th Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day on Saturday.

“Let us continue along this path, to create partnerships characterized by continued dialogue and a culture of mutual respect for our historic and our current partners,” he said.

Acknowledging the presence of the Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Liu Jianchao during the occasion, the President said that the two countries have disagreements sometimes, but there are a lot of benefits for their continuing friendship throughout the years.

Both the Philippines and China has claims in territories in the South China Sea along with other Asean countries.

In 2010, the President noted that the approved foreign direct investment contribution of the People’s Republic of China to the Philippines was close to P5.7 billion more than double that of 2009 figure.

From January to March this year, the Philippines’s exports to China have reached around $1.4 billion, which accounts for almost 11.5 percent of all Philippine exports within the period, the President said.

“The money that our beneficial trade relationship has generated will go to projects that aim to help the many Filipinos who need the aid of good education, of proper health services, and of proper social services,” he said.

Extending his gratitude to the country’s trading partners; the President said he is hopeful that they will continue to show interest in public-private partnership (PPP) projects and in investing in the Philippines.

Also present at Saturday’s event were Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, BIR Commissioner Kim Henares, FFCCCII president Tan Ching, Chinese Ambassador Liu Jianchao, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, and business tycoon Lucio Tan. (as/10:41am)