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China-Philippine Achievements in a Photo Exhibit at SM City

Chinese ConGen Li Lin delivers his welcome speech.

A couple of years back while attending the first ever Lacson clan reunion held in Talisay City, Negros Occidental, of which my paternal grandmother belonged to, it was a surprise for me to learn that my Lacson ancestors were originally from the Fujian Province of Mother China where most Chinoys’ ancestors who settled in the Philippines came from.  I had wished that someday I could travel to the land of my Chinese ancestors (I did in 2019) after having already visited the amazing Imperial Beijing and cosmopolitan Shanghai with its fantastic and varying Art Deco Architecture during my student days in the 1990s. 

Fascinating China was just starting to open to the outside world then.  Seeing the Great Walls of China for the first time truly moved me to kiss its grounds.  I have watched a lot of Chinese movies starting during the time of the late Jimmy Wang Yu of the ‘One-Armed Swordsman’ fame as my introduction to China; but travel, indeed, gives us a wonderful opportunity to learn such surprising things about a place, its people, its history, art and culture in a different level.

Mayor Sebastian Z. Duterte, ConGen Li Lin, Madam Aiping Chiu with the City Councilors and SM representatives.

History has it that during China’s Tang Dynasty (9th century AD), the maritime Nanhai trade between China and the Philippines already started.  The Nanhai trade was the ancient maritime trade between China and Southeast Asia.  “The maritime trade promoted unimpeded trade and cultural exchanges, and closely linked the two countries and peoples. 

Ever since the ancient times, many Chinese came to the Philippines, where they settled down, raised families, and made friends, and even fought shoulder to shoulder with local Filipinos against foreign aggression to protect the common homeland.  As of today, millions of Filipino-Chinese are living in the country, while the bustling Binondo Streets and popular Chinese dishes such as tikoy and siopao are all vivid manifestations of the time-honored bonds of kinship and friendship between the two countries,” wrote H.E. Chinese Ambassador Huan Xilian for a newspaper article in 2021.

The Chinese Consulate General in Davao City was inaugurated in October 28, 2018, two years after China’s President Xi Jinping proposed it to then President Rodrigo R. Duterte during his state visit to China.  The first Chinese Consul General assigned to Davao is H.E. Consul General Li Lin who has since promised to help promote various business opportunities in various parts of Mindanao to Chinese investors.

Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte and Chinese Pres.Xi Jinping agree to strengthen bilateral ties in 2016.

Since 1975 when the diplomatic relationship between the two countries was established, China and the Philippines have had bilateral agreements covering political, defense, trade and investments, judicial cooperation, infrastructure development, energy cooperation, air services, cooperation in combating transnational crimes, consular cooperation, tourism, culture, among others.  China has become the largest trading partner, the largest source of imports, the third largest export market, and source of the second largest foreign investors of the Philippines.

“As we look forward to the bright prospects of China-Philippines relations in the future and recollect the fruitful results of cooperation between our two countries during the past years, we sincerely invite you to join the Photo Exhibition on China-Philippines Cooperation Achievements,” wrote the personable Chinese Consul General Li Lin in a red and gold invitation.  The exhibit held at the Event Center of SM City Davao was inaugurated and opened to the public with the attendance of Davao City Mayor Sebastian Z. Duterte and leaders of the various sectors of the Davao community last August 29, 2022.

The pictures on exhibit highlight “the most significant moments of high level exchanges, economic and trade cooperation, anti-pandemic cooperation and military exchanges between the Philippines and China, showing the millennium friendship between the two countries as good neighbors, good relatives, and good partners. Looking forward to a brighter future for the China-Philippines relationship.”

 

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