The Belt and Road China-Philippines Forum on People-to-People Exchange & Economic Cooperation Held in Manila

[Source]    Confucius Institute at Ateneo de Manila University [Time]    2019-08-13 16:07:01 
 

On July 26, the Belt and Road China-Philippines Forum on People-to-People Exchange & Economic Cooperation was held in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. This forum was sponsored by the China Public Diplomacy Association and Philippine News Agency, and organized by Huanqiu.com and the Confucius Institute at Ateneo de Manila University.

About 300 representatives from the Chinese government, the Philippine government, think tanks, media and enterprises attended the forum, including Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Former President of the Philippines, Martin Andanar, Secretary of the Presidential Communications Operations Office, Dr. Ellen H. Palanca, Foreign Director of the Confucius Institute at Ateneo de Manila University, Tan Qingsheng, Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister-Councellor at the Chinese Embassy in the Republic of the Philippines, Hu Zhengyue, Vice President of China Public Diplomacy Association, Zhou Mingwei, President of Translators Association of China and Former President of China Foreign Languages Publishing Administration, Shan Chengbiao, General Manager of Huanqiu.com, Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong, President of Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc., and Dr. Francis Chua, Chairman of Philippine Silk Road International Chamber of Commerce.

This forum set up three sub-forums, namely China-Philippines Think Tank Media Dialogue, China-Philippines Infrastructure Construction Cooperation, and China-Philippines Cultural and Health Industry Cooperation. Attendees had an in-depth discussion about how to further develop people-to-people exchanges between China and the Philippines and deepen cooperation in fields such as the construction of infrastructure, and reached a series of important consensuses.

In his speech, Tan Qingsheng stressed that as the diplomatic relations between two countries lied in the friendship between the two peoples, the Belt and Road Initiative was the bridge for friendly exchanges in fields such as culture, academics and media between China and the Philippines. As China-Philippine relations improve, the two countries had made great progress in cooperation in many fields, but the exchanges between the two peoples still needed to be expanded.


Tan Qingsheng delivering his speech

Martin Andanar expressed that the Belt and Road Initiative had facilitated regional and worldwide exchanges in various fields, including economy, trade and humanities. He pointed out that media communication and the truthful spread of information helped peace and harmony in this era. Under the Belt and Road Initiative, media from the Philippines and China had made good cooperation and exchanges, deepening mutual understanding and trust between the two countries and the two peoples.


Martin Andanar delivering his speech

Hu Zhengyue said in his speech that in recent years, China and the Philippines had made positive progress through practical cooperation and that people-to-people exchanges had been promoted to an unprecedented level. He expressed that as China and the Philippines had similar cultures and the two peoples were closely connected because of the geographical proximity, the two countries had a unique advantage to further expand people-to-people exchanges, which would have an unlimited prospect.


Hu Zhengyue delivering his speech

Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong noted that China was currently the largest trading partner and the largest source of foreign capital of the Philippines. Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. would continue to push forward exchange programs in various areas, such as education and culture between the two countries, so as to enhance people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.


Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong delivering his speech

Shan Chengbiao said in his speech that as mutual cooperation in various fields had been deepened since the establishment of China-Philippine diplomatic relations, friendly partnership had been built on the basis of friendly neighborhood and mutual trust and benefits. In the new era, the cooperation between China and the Philippines was in urgent need of new perspectives and the development of new industries. This forum provided a communication platform for people in various fields from China and the Philippines to focus on the key points of cooperation.


Shan Chengbiao delivering his speech

Dr. Francis Chua noted in his speech that the Belt and Road Initiative could focus on investment and the construction of infrastructure and improve people-to-people exchanges among different countries at the same time.


Dr. Francis Chua delivering his speech

Dr. Ellen H. Palanca said since it was established in 2006, the Confucius Institute at Ateneo de Manila University had been devoted to mutual exchanges in education, language and culture between Philippine and Chinese people, which made it a significant bridge that enhanced mutual understanding and trust between the two peoples so as to enable more Philippine people to get in touch with China and know about China. In particular, teachers who taught Chinese in the Confucius Institute played an important role in expanding people-to-people exchanges and increasing more opportunities for the two peoples to make direct contact with each other.


Dr. Ellen H. Palanca delivering her speech

Zhou Mingwei expressed in his keynote speech that in recent years, both China and the Philippines had made positive progress in their cooperation in various fields. He stressed that it was important to facilitate cooperation in infrastructure, economy and trade, but people-to-people exchanges were equally important and even more important. People-to-people exchanges were a kind of “soft power” that could build a firm bridge of communication and understanding for diplomatic relations between the two countries.


Zhou Mingwei delivering his speech

In her keynote speech, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo wonderfully expounded such issues as the current development of Philippine-China relations, the contribution of China’s development to global economy, and the positive meaning of China’s Belt and Road Initiative to global cooperation and the economic development of the Philippines. She stressed, in particular, that people-to-people exchanges between the Philippines and China should be further strengthened.


Gloria Macapagal Arroyo delivering her keynote speech

In the sub-forum of China-Philippines Think Tank Media Dialogue, the guests, including William De Jesus Lima, special envoy to China appointed by President of the Philippines, Virginia Arcilla-Agtay, Director of Philippine News Agency, Huo Ying, Secretary-General of China Public Diplomacy Association, Ji Mingzhong, General Manager of WeSing of Tencent Music Entertainment Group, Zhang Zhi’an, Director of the School of Communication and Design of Sun Yat-Sen University, and Ding Gang, Senior Reporter of People’s Daily, had an in-depth discussion about the think tanks and media of the two countries. They reached a consensus that China and the Philippines should attached importance to exchanges and cooperation in media and think tanks, which would help improve mutual understanding and trust between the two peoples.


In the sub-forum of China-Philippines Think Tank Media Dialogue

In the sub-forum of China-Philippines Infrastructure Construction Cooperation, the representatives, including Arthur Tugade, Secretary of Transportation of the Philippines, Ceferino S. Rodolfo, Managing Head of Board of Investments of the Philippines, Shan Shewu, Director of State Grid Office in the Philippines, and Hou Jianchao, Vice General Manager of the Asian-Pacific Regional Company of China First Highway Engineering Group made in-depth exchanges about the construction of infrastructure in China and the Philippines. The guests of both sides agreed that China and the Philippines should strengthen cooperation in the construction of infrastructure. Meanwhile, the representatives of the Philippine side noted that they would welcome the investments in various fields made by the Chinese side.


In the sub-forum of China-Philippines Infrastructure Construction Cooperation

Dr. Francia M. Laxamana, Assistant of the Secretary of Health of the Philippines, Paulyn Ubial, Former Secretary of Health of the Philippines, Annabelle Pabiona-De Guzman, Director General of Philippine Institute for Traditional and Alternative Health Care, Dr. Jovencio F. Ordoña, Former Director General of Philippine Institute for Traditional and Alternative Health Care, Dr. Zheng Qiming, Certified Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Practitioner and President of the Philippines Society of Certified TCM Practitioners and Acupuncturists, Inc., Xue Shouchun,, Vice President of Marketing of LKK Health Products Group, Zhang Yiwu, Professor of Beijing University, and Zhang Jin, Director of the Disease Prevention Center of Xiyuan Hospital of China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences were present in the sub-forum of China-Philippines Cultural and Health Industry Cooperation. Guests of both sides reached a consensus on the development of health care in China and the Philippines, the culture of health preserving in TCM, health industry and so on. They held that under the Belt and Road Initiative, the present was the important opportunity to promote China-Philippine cooperation in health industry and that the internationalization of health industry needed the joint efforts made by the two countries.


In the sub-forum of China-Philippines Cultural and Health Industry Cooperation

In the next day, the representatives visited the Confucius Institute at Ateneo de Manila University, and had in-depth communication and dialogue about such issues as the implementation of relevant programs of the Belt and Road Initiative, media culture, educational and people-to-people exchanges, the promotion and professional training of TCM in the Philippines with the representatives of the Philippine Association for Chinese Studies (PACS).

Story by Dong Jiayao