MANILA - Malacañang said Tuesday it hopes that the "renaissance" in ties between the Philippines and China would lead to better relations as the two nations marked 45 years of diplomatic links.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said the Palace hopes that improved ties between Manila and Beijing could increase the "prosperity" for both countries.
"Well, I would say that Philippine-Chinese relation is enjoying a renaissance under the administration of President Duterte," he said in a Palace press briefing.
"And we hope that this renaissance will lead to better relations resolving all the disputes that we have between our two countries, increase economic ties, increase prosperity for both Philippines and China," he added.
Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian on Tuesday said cooperation against the coronavirus pandemic, which originated in the East Asian country, "further cemented" the 45-year diplomatic ties between the Philippines and China.
Consultations on a code of conduct in the South China Sea are also going "smoothly and effectively," he added.
"Through joining hands to fight against the COVID-19, the foundation of China-Philippines relations have been further cemented, people-to-people ties strengthened, and the sense of building a community of shared future deepened," Huang said.
Ties between China and the Philippines flourished under President Duterte, who sought to distance Manila from its traditional ally, the United States.
Duterte had also refused to flaunt Manila's victory before a UN-backed arbitration court that invalidated Beijing's sweeping claims in the South China Sea.
The Philippines and China remain locked in a maritime dispute over the South China Sea. Just last April, the Philippines filed diplomatic protests against China over the pointing of a radar gun at a Philippine Navy ship in Philippine waters and declaring parts of Philippine territory as part of Hainan province, “violating international law and Philippine sovereignty.”
The Philippines also objected to China’s naming of some features in the Kalayaan Island Group, saying the Philippines does not recognize them.