MANILA – President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said it is not true that the Philippines has shifted away from China amid differences.
The country, Marcos said, did not make such a policy, and instead continues to work with its long-standing trade partner to resolve challenges that they jointly face.
“Some people have said that the Philippines had shifted its policy away from the People’s Republic (of China) and to other powers, that is certainly not true,” the President said on the sidelines of the Award for Promoting Philippines-China Understanding (APPCU) awarding ceremony at The Manila Hotel on Thursday, June 8.
“We have not shifted away from China in any way, whatsoever,” he stressed.
The President said that the Philippine-China relations is the same with everybody else in the region, “it is evolving” but “hasn’t changed in any fundamental sense.”
He noted that his administration continues to foster the friendship and partnership it has with China, reiterating that the differences between the two countries exist but are not something that will define the bilateral relationship.
“So that’s how I describe it, it’s a continuing search to find solution to the challenges that we face jointly with China,” the chief executive said.
Marcos also mentioned the recurring incidents in the West Philippine Sea involving Chinese ships as among the existing challenges that both countries will continue to find solutions to.
“It is something that we will continue to work to resolve and to make sure that the peace and the safe passage across the South China Sea, the West Philippine Sea, is assured and we look to China as partners in that effort to keep the peace and to keep the trade that is so important to this part of the world alive and vibrant,” Marcos said.
He also pointed out that the relationship between the two countries “will not be defined by the differences but by our common areas of interests and our common beliefs, and the similarities in our cultures which both countries will understand very well.”
“I think that is a very fertile ground to build, to plant our relationship and keep it growing,” he said.