Chinese envoy makes courtesy visit to presumptive president Marcos Jr.

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 12 2022 06:31 PM | Updated as of May 12 2022 11:35 PM

via Camp of Bongbong Marcos
Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian pays a courtesy visit to presumptive president Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. Courtesy: Camp of Bongbong Marcos.

MANILA (UPDATE) - Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian paid presumptive president Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. a courtesy visit following the 2022 national and local elections. 

A statement from the Marcos Jr. camp released Thursday said Huang officially handed to Marcos a congratulatory note on behalf of Chinese President Xi Jinping. 

"The Chinese embassy conveyed its hope 'to bring the two countries’ relationship of Comprehensive Strategic Cooperation to new heights,'" the statement said. 

Huang also handed over Chinese President Xi Jinping's congratulatory letter to Marcos.

"I handed over Chinese President Xi Jinping’s congratulatory letter on Marcos’ election as President of the Republic of the Philippines, and conveyed warm greetings from President Xi," the statement said.

"China is willing to work with the next Philippine government to perserve the good-neighborliness and focus on development, so as to deepen our Relationship of Comprehensive Strategic Cooperation. I also believe that the bilateral relations will become even stronger, our people closer and our cooperation deeper and wider," it added.

The visit comes after Huang congratulated Marcos Jr. for his victory in the 2022 polls, while expressing confidence that ties between Manila and Beijing would be "stronger". 

Marcos Jr. secured more than half of the votes in Monday's election to win the presidency by a wide margin and cap a remarkable comeback for his family.

He and his running mate Sara Duterte-Carpio, who also won the vice presidential race, have embraced key policies of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte, including his position on China.

Under Duterte, Manila's previously frosty relations with Beijing warmed as the authoritarian firebrand set aside an international ruling on the South China Sea in exchange for promises of trade and investment.

China claims almost the entirety of the South China Sea and has ignored the 2016 ruling by The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration that its historical claim is without basis.

It has reinforced its stance by building artificial islands over some contested reefs and installing weapons on them.

Earlier on Thursday, US President Joe Biden spoke with Marcos in a call, where the White House said they discussed "strengthening the US-Philippine alliance, while expanding bilateral cooperation on a wide range of issues, including the fight against COVID-19, addressing the climate crisis, promoting broad-based economic growth, and respect for human rights." 

Marcos Jr.'s spokesman Atty. Vic Rodriguez said the Philippines' long-time relationship with the United States will be better but noted the country "will not be exclusive to anyone."

"The interest of the Filipino people and the national interest comes first and it will never be compromised especially our territorial integrity," he said in an ANC interview. 

- With a report by Agence France-Presse