Villamor Air Base, Pasay City
January 3, 2023

Aiming to deepen bilateral relations and economic partnership with the People’s Republic of China, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. left the Philippines for a State Visit to the country’s largest trading partner as well as its major source of official development assistance, particularly during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We will seek to harness the potentials of our vibrant trade and investment relations as we accelerate the post-pandemic growth of our economy,” said President Marcos Jr. during his departure statement at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.

“I recall our country’s profound appreciation and gratitude when China was there to extend its helping hand in the form of vaccines, personal protective equipment, and technical assistance at the initial onslaught of the pandemic,” he added, noting that China’s assistance strengthened the trust between the two nations.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Chief Executive’s visit will set the tone for the relations between the Philippines and China. Furthermore, with China being the country’s second largest source of foreign tourism before the pandemic, the President will push for the resumption of tourism and cultural cooperation for the two countries.

“I will invite our Chinese neighbors to once again return to the Philippines as tourists, students and investors,” he added.

President Marcos Jr. is expected to be involved in the signing of more than ten bilateral agreements, apart from more than a hundred existing agreements that the country has inked with China.

“As with my previous State Visits last year, we will continue to pursue initiatives in the priority areas that we have identified: the agricultural sector; the guarantee of food supply; the guarantee of prices — of food prices that are affordable to all Filipinos; our long-term strategies and plans on energy, particularly renewable energy; and our long-term plans for our nation’s emergence into the new global, sustainable digital economy,” he remarked.

The Philippines-China bilateral relations started 47 years ago, with the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. formally establishing diplomatic ties in June 1975. Since then, several exchange of high-level visits were noted between the two nations.

“In undertaking this trip, I continue that legacy of strengthening the bonds of friendship between Filipino and Chinese peoples, and fostering bilateral ties to higher plane of cooperation,” the President ended.

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