Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Huang Xilian at the Online Reception in Celebrating the Chinese New Year
2021-02-09 17:07

Dear Guests,

My compatriots,

Dear Friends,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening!

It gives me great pleasure to have you all online to celebrate the Year of the Ox. In Chinese traditional culture, ox symbolizes hard work, fortitude and prosperity. With these auspicious promises, I would like to, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy, extend my warmest greetings to my compatriots and friends from all walks of life in the Philippines. I wish you a happy and successful Year of the Ox!

The year 2020 has been an extraordinary year for both China and the Philippines, when our world went through the challenges of the pandemic and global turbulence, both of a scale unseen in a century.

Over the past year, Chinese people have won strategic success in our fight against the pandemic with solidarity. Putting people’s lives front and center, we have made utmost efforts to protect people’s lives and health and secured major strategic gains in the fight against COVID-19. We believe that a just cause finds great support and compassion knows no borders. At a time when our country was still grappling with the virus, we have been doing our best to provide assistance and share experience of COVID-19 response with other countries. As the world’s largest manufacturer of medical supplies, we have provided countries around the world with over 220 billion masks, 2.3 billion protective suits and one billion testing kits. These are but a few examples of China’s strong desire to promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Over the past year, China has made remarkable progress through arduous work. Confronted by the onslaught of COVID-19, we promoted parallel progress in COVID-19 response and economic and social development. China was the first major economy worldwide to restore economic growth and its GDP in 2020 is expected to step up to a new level of 100 trillion yuan. The country met the historic target of ending extreme poverty on schedule, and secured decisive achievements in fully establishing a moderately prosperous society. Such progress has put China on course to realize its First Centenary Goal.

Over the past year, China-Philippines comprehensive strategic cooperative relationship has been deepened. President Xi Jinping and President Duterte closely engaged in “cloud diplomacy” by various means, providing strategic guidance for the continued growth of the bilateral relation. Our two countries’ mutually beneficial cooperation has continued to move forward despite the adversity of the pandemic. With the bilateral trade seeing a robust increase, China has remained the Philippines’ largest trading partner. The Chinese enterprises have steadily pushed forward the major projects listed in the “Build Build Build” program and created more jobs for Filipinos, which has secured the livelihood for tens of thousands of Filipino families in the trying times. Our two countries have stayed committed to the right direction of properly handling differences while expanding cooperation and jointly promoting cooperation on oil and gas development, contributing to the peace and stability in the South China Sea as well as the development and prosperity in the region.

Over the past year, the traditional friendship between our two peoples has been strengthened. When China was relentlessly fighting against the pandemic early last year, the Philippine government and people from all walks of life offered assistance and expressed support to us, which we will always hold dear to the heart. In light of the pandemic situation in the Philippines, we reciprocated the kindness by dispatching an anti-pandemic medical expert team with frontline experience, providing many batches of urgently needed medical supplies, as well as prioritizing and facilitating the procurement and shipment of tens of thousands cubic meters of medical supplies. On top of that, the Chinese Embassy and consulates have donated more than 40,000 “Friendship Packages” containing relief goods to Filipino families in need across the country to help them get through the trying times. We understand that vaccines are urgently needed in the Philippines, and China has offered to donate a batch of vaccines to the Philippines and would give guidance to Chinese companies to carry out vaccine procurement cooperation with the Philippine side as soon as possible. When the Philippines was caught by natural disasters such as Taal Volcano eruption and the super typhoons “Rolly” and “Ulysses”, China lent a helping hand immediately by providing disaster relief supplies worth more than PhP 36.25 million, in order to help the victims rebuild their homeland. From fighting the coronavirus and tiding over the disasters, our two countries always rendered staunch support to each other, through which our our millennium-old friendship have been rejuvenated.

My compatriots, and friends,

Over the past year, I have not only been encouraged by China’s development and the steady progress of China-Philippines relations, but also been deeply moved by the devotion to the motherland of all the overseas Chinese, staff of Chinese institutions, Chinese students and volunteer teachers in the Philippines. Facing the devastating impact of the pandemic, they overcame the tough challenges, actively took part in the COVID-19 response conducted by the two countries and made efforts to promote China-Philippines exchanges and cooperation in various fields such as economy, trade and people-to-people exchanges. Acting as the a bridge of friendship and cooperation between the two countries, they have made great contributions to the China-Philippines partnership in the new era. All those moving moments are worth remembering forever.

We all remember with gratitude the devotion of the Filipino-Chinese communities in the Philippines. At the early stage of the COVID-19 outbreak in China, they not only generously donated money but also made every effort to purchase medical supplies from all over the world to address the urgent demand in China. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Philippines, they have actively mobilized resources to help the local people and offered support and assistance to the Philippine government, fully demonstrating the noble Chinese tradition of always extending a helping hand to those in need.

We all remember with gratitude the perseverance of the Chinese institutions in the Philippines. While doing a good job in epidemic prevention and control, the Chinese enterprises in the Philippines, guided by the people-centered philosophy, were among the first to have resumed work and production. They have made positive contributions to stabilizing Philippine economy and employment and ensure Filipinos’ livelihood, as well as building a solid foundation for China-Philippines cooperation in the future. Braving the risk of infection and manning the front-line, the Chinese media outlets in the Philippines have put on record the heart-touching details of China-Philippines cooperation in fighting the pandemic and made the voice of the ever-lasting friendship between our two countries widely heard.

We all remember with gratitude the contributions of the Chinese students and volunteer teachers in the Philippines. Holding the Online Exhibition of Calligraphy and Painting themed on Across the Sea, the Chinese students in the Philippines have expressed their understanding and affection towards the country of the Philippines and China-Philippines friendship in the artistic way, which demonstrated the hope to tide over the trying time with solidarity and cooperation. The Chinese volunteer teachers in the Philippines have acted with dedication to promote the culture and art exchanges between our two countries and organized a variety of online cultural activities for the Filipinos, with a view to bringing the hearts of our two peoples closer.

My colleagues at the Chinese Embassy and the three consulates in the Philippines have also been working hard to help every overseas compatriot who is in need and foster a closer China-Philippines partnership in the new era .

My compatriots, dear friends,

In 2021, we will mark the centenary of the Communist Party of China. China will embark on a new journey toward fully building a modern socialist country and realizing its Second Centenary Goal. We will continue to work hard to create new splendor in various undertakings of national development and contribute to world peace, stability and prosperity.

In 2021, China-Philippines relations will embrace new development opportunities. During State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s successful visit to the Philippines last January, the two countries have reached consensus on unswervingly following the course charted by the Presidents of our two countries. While jointly combating the COVID-19 pandemic, China-Philippines comprehensive strategic cooperative relationship will bear more fruits to benefit the two peoples.

In 2021, the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines will continue to stay committed to the people-centered principle in our work, keep in mind the safety and well-being of overseas Chinese in the Philippines and make our utmost efforts to address their difficulties, conveying the loving care from our motherland.

My compatriots, dear friends,

In the new year, I sincerely hope that people of our two countries will join hands and work tirelessly to advance China-Philippines relations. At the outset of a new era, let’s brace an even brighter future of China-Philippines relations with full confidence and great hope! Wish you all enjoy a safe, happy and prosperous year of the Ox!

Thank you!

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