MANILA (UPDATED)- President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday received the credentials of China's new top envoy to the Philippines in a ceremony in Malacañang.
Ambassador Huang Xilian replaced former Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua, who made his farewell call to Duterte last October.
“Your Excellency, we are proud that China and the Philippines are two great friends. And I welcome you to your new assignment. May it be productive,” Duterte told Huang when the latter presented his credentials at the Palace.
Huang told the President he will do every effort to promote the Philippines' relations with China.
“I wish Philippines enjoy prosperity and its people well-being. I wish your Excellency enjoy every success and good health,” he said.
Huang’s appointment comes amid tensions between the Philippines and China over the West Philippine Sea, and the growing number of Chinese companies operating in the Philippines.
A recent poll showed that Filipinos’ trust in China fell into a new low, from “poor” to “bad” with net trust ratings falling 9 points to -33 in September 2019 compared to June 2019.
Duterte also received during the same ceremony H.E. Grete Sillasen, Ambassador Designate of The Kingdom of Denmark; H.E. Shobini Gunasekera, Ambassador Designate of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka; H.E. Antonis Alexandridis, Ambassador Designate of The Hellenic Republic; H.E. U Lwin Oo, Ambassador Designate of The Republic of The Union of Myanmar; and H.E Batinah Ntombizodwa Radebe-Netshitenzhe, Ambassador Designate of the Republic of South Africa.