House confers congressional medal to outgoing Chinese Ambassador Zhao
By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
MANILA – The House of Representatives has conferred the Congressional Medal of Achievement award to outgoing Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jinhua.
In a simple ceremony at the House Plenary on Monday, officials and members led by Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Majority Floor Leader Ferdinand Martin honored Zhao for his “invaluable contribution” to the country through House Resolution No. 474.
Romualdez who read HR 474 before conferring the congressional medal to Zhao said the seasoned Chinese diplomat during his tenure as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary “has played a significant role for the Government of the Philippines and China, notwithstanding their distinct or conflicting positions, to resolve their differences in a friendly manner.”
Zhao who was first appointed Ambassador to the Philippines in 2014 led “to the turnaround of previously cold relations into the golden age of Philippines-China bilateral relations” amidst the ongoing territorial role in the South China Sea according to HR 474.
Zhao was the second foreign diplomat the was conferred the said award.
In 2016, the Lower House then under the leadership of Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has also conferred the Congressional Medal of Achievement to former United States Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg.
HR 474 stated that under Zhao’s tour of duty in Manila, “China has become our top trading partner”—being the fourth largest export market at $8.70 billion in 2018.
“It is but proper to honor the work and contributions of outgoing Ambassador… whose tour of duty in the country in the country fostered stronger bonds for very good friendship between the Philippines and China,” the resolution read.