MANILA - New Chinese ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian highlighted the growth of Philippine-China relations as he hosted his first Chinese New Year Wednesday.
According to Huang, China is now the country’s top trading partner. He added that 1.5 million Chinese visited the Philippines last year.
He also said the mechanisms for South China Sea are working well, adding the consultations for a code conduct in the South China Sea “Has been steadily moving forward, contributing to peace and stability in the region and beyond.”
“Let’s seize the day.. to work for greater development of our countries and sustained growth,” Huang said during his remarks.
Huang, likewise, expects “progress” in efforts to implement joint oil exploration between the Philippines and China.
Speaking to reporters during the Chinese New Year reception, Huang said: “Both governments are working closely to implement this consensus,” pointing out the first meeting of the intergovernmental joint steering committee on oil and gas exploration held in Beijing last year.
He also said he is looking forward to the next meeting to be held “sometime early this year.”
He added the foreign ministers of the Philippines and China had a “good meeting” on how to push forward its implementation and that both countries are working closely on the matter.
“We believe with the strong guidance of both our leaders,we will make progress, expect progress in the future,” Huang said.
Former President Gloria Arroyo, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar led guests during Chinese embassy’s reception to mark Chinese New Year and assumption of Huang.