A night before Chinese New Year, President Rodrigo Duterte urged Filipino and Chinese communities to strengthen their “sense of solidarity and goodwill” as they welcome the Year of the Earth Dog on Friday, February 16.
“As an integral component of Philippine society, Chinese-Filipinos will continue to play an important role in shaping our national identity and in upholding the beauty of diversity in our respective cultures,” Duterte said in his New Year’s message.
“Let the joy of this occasion strengthen our sense of solidarity and goodwill as a single nation committed to the preservation of our unique and multi-faceted Filipino heritage” he added.
Duterte also acknowledge the country’s “long and and colorful” history with the Chinese that binds the two nations.
“This enduring friendship has contributed to our rich culture, stimulated trade between our nations, and fortified the foundation of our continuing quest for economic development,” Duterte stressed.
“May the Lunar New Year bring more opportunities for growth and success to all of us,” the President added.
Last year, Duterte called on Filipinos and Chinese to “fortify” goodwill they have shared over the years.
He also mentioned the big role of Chinese culture in the Philippines, saying that “they have enriched the Filipino culture and history on their own.” The President said that Chinese people contributed to the economy by trade and investments and that their cuisine has been dearly familiar to many Filipino homes.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, during his visit to Malacañang on November 2017, described the relationship of both countries as warm as the temperature in Manila.
Li hoped that the Philippines and China would cooperate to “strengthen this positive momentum” in their ties.
“We hope that we will continue to work together to strengthen this positive momentum and work together to make up for the time we might have lost,” he said.