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House honors outgoing Chinese envoy for stronger PHL-China ties


The House of Representatives on Monday adopted a resolution honoring outgoing Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua for his "extraordinary" contributions to fostering a strong Philippine-China bilateral relations.

House Resolution 474, filed by Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, Minority Leader Benny Abante Jr., and Committee on Foreign Affairs chairperson Ann Hofer, also confers the Congressional Medal of Achievement to Zhao.

 

According to the resolution, Zhao, in performing his duties as Chinese envoy, played a significant role for the Chinese and Philippine governments "to resolve their differences in a friendly manner," which led to the "golden age of Philippines-China bilateral relations."

Ever since Zhao swore in as Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines on April 8, 2014, the resolution said China has become the country's top trading partner, as well as the fourth largest export market and top import supplier in 2018.

Chinese tourist arrivals in the country has likewise increased during Zhao's term, from 394,951 in 2015 to 1.26 million in 2019.

Moreover, at least 90 bilateral agreements have been signed between China and the Philippines with Zhao as ambassador, which ranged from the economic, political, cultural, humanitarian and security aspects.

"While there may be real and difficult issues remaining between the Philippines and China, through the work and contribution of Ambassador Jianhua, the Philippine government is certain that the lines of communication between the Philippines and China shall always remain open to resolve peacefully any difference between our countries and peoples," the resolution read.

Zhao himself was present at the House when the resolution was adopted. He likewise greeted and shook hands with some members of the chamber.

Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte himself met with Zhao for a farewell call and thanked the ambassador for his vital role in a growing and more robust bilateral relationship between Philippines and China.

Huang Xilian, China’s envoy to the Association of South East Asian Nations, will replace Zhao from his position, according to diplomatic sources. —LDF, GMA News

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