MANILA - President Ferdinand Marcos Jr on Friday said he looks forward to stronger Philippine-China ties as both nations celebrate the 48th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between them.
In a social media post, Marcos Jr recalled the founding of the official diplomatic relations between the Philippines and China under his father and late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.
"I am proud to have been part in laying the groundwork as former First First Lady Imelda Marcos and I had the chance to interact with former Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong in 1974, paving the way for my father’s historic visit to China in 1975," he said.
"This momentous occasion 48 years ago served to further deepen our already strong and enduring people-to-people linkages."
The President said his meeting with President Xi Jinping earlier was filled with "spirit of mutual cooperation and mutual respect".
"As we turn our gaze towards the future, I look forward to the continued strengthening of Philippines-China bilateral relations, especially in the important cooperation areas: tourism, agriculture, trade and investment, and infrastructure," he said.
Marcos Jr. on Thursday denied that his administration has shifted government policy away from China, amid ongoing tensions in the West Philippine Sea as well as efforts by the Philippine government to strengthen its political and military ties with the United States.
Though Manila’s relations with Beijing continue to evolve along with the changing times, it still “hasn't changed in any fundamental sense,” he said during the Award for Promoting Philippines China Understanding (APPCU) at the Manila Hotel.
Marcos Jr. earlier this year allowed the US to access 4 more of its military bases, with two of them just a few hundred kilometers off Taiwan, the self-governed democratic island that China claims as its own.