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New Chinese envoy vows to deepen ‘pragmatic cooperation’

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Chinese Ambassador-designate to the Philippines Huang Xilian has arrived in Manila on Tuesday, replacing long-time Chinese envoy in the country Zhao Jianhua who ended his five-year tour of duty.

As the new Chinese representative in Manila, Huang vowed to lead initiatives and programs that would effectively implement the recent agreements and consensus between President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“I’m designated by the president as the ambassador to promote friendship and to deepen our pragmatic cooperation,” he told reporters who covered his arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

He said the Philippines and China have reached a “level of agreement of consensus”.

“For me, the most important task is to implement those agreements and turn them into tangible benefits to our people,” he said.

In his speech, Huang made it apparent that his focus would also gear towards promoting the China-led Belt and Road in the country.

“China stands as the Philippines’ top trading partner, the largest source of import, the third-largest export market and the second-largest tourist origin. The growth of China-Philippines relations, embodying common wishes of our peoples, has been generating more and more tangible benefits for the people and brought about a closer China-Philippines community of shared future,” he said.

He said “the best is yet to come” as 2020 is the conclusive year for China to complete building a “moderately prosperous society in all respects and achieve its first centenary goal”, which coincides with the 45th anniversary of the establishment of China-Philippines diplomatic relations.

“I feel extremely honored to serve as the Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines at such an important historical juncture, and will work wholeheartedly to promote China-Philippines friendship and cooperation, living up to the significant mission entrusted upon me,” he said.

Huang has long been working on Asian affairs in most of his diplomatic career and had previously visited the Philippines which he described as “a paradise on the earth”.

Before he became China’s Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, his most recent posting, Huang served as deputy director-general of China Ministry of Foreign Affairs-Department of Asian Affairs. (PNA)

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