BEIJING, May 18 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping had a phone conversation with Philippine President-elect Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos on Wednesday morning on bilateral ties and regional development.
Xi congratulated Marcos again on his election as the president of the Philippines.
He stressed that Marcos has participated in and witnessed the development of China-Philippines relations, calling Marcos a builder, supporter and promoter of the China-Philippines friendship.
Citing a Philippine saying "If you do not know where you have come from, you cannot go far," Xi urged both countries to carry forward the friendship of the two sides and stay true to their original aspiration.
The Chinese president said the two countries should also grasp the general trend, write a grand story on the China-Philippines friendship in the new era and follow through the blueprint for bilateral friendly cooperation, so as to usher in an even brighter future for the bilateral ties.
Xi pointed out that in the past six years, China and the Philippines have adhered to the good-neighborly friendship, worked together for common development and established a comprehensive strategic cooperative relationship.
The two sides have effectively managed differences through dialogue and consultation, actively promoted practical cooperation in various fields, and achieved fruitful results in bilateral relations, Xi said, adding that facts have proved that the China-Philippines friendship is in line with the common aspirations of the people of the two countries, and cooperation between the two sides serves the common interests of the two peoples.
Xi noted that the Chinese side always gives priority to the Philippines in its neighborhood diplomacy and maintains continuity and stability in its friendly policy toward the Philippines.
China is ready to step up exchanges of governance experience with the Philippines, expand and strengthen existing cooperation with a focus on national economy and people's welfare in such fields as infrastructure, agriculture, energy and education, as well as the anti-COVID-19 fight and post-pandemic recovery, foster new growth areas and promote development and revitalization of the two countries and the region at large, he said.
China will, as always, provide active support and assistance to the Philippines in its economic and social development, Xi added.
Xi stressed that the changes of the world, the times and history have been unprecedented, with peace and security facing new challenges.
Noting that both China and the Philippines are developing countries in Asia, Xi said the two countries' development is rooted in a good-neighborly and friendly surroundings and also in an Asian family featuring win-win cooperation.
The Chinese president said he hopes that the Philippines will continue to pursue an independent foreign policy.
The Chinese side stands ready to work with the Philippines to strengthen strategic communication and coordination over major international and regional issues, and safeguard the sound momentum of peace and development in the region, said Xi.
Recalling his friendly exchanges with China, Marcos said that the Philippine people regard China as one of their most important partners.
The new Philippine government will take Philippines-China relations as a foreign policy priority, and is ready to strengthen exchanges at various levels and deepen cooperation with China in economy, trade, infrastructure, energy, culture and education, the president said.
Marcos expressed his full expectations for better and stronger development of bilateral relations in the future, adding that he is ready to work with the Chinese side to inject new and strong impetus into the development of bilateral ties. ■