Over the past few years, China and the Philippines have made joint efforts to consolidate and enhance their bilateral relations, which has not only brought benefits to the people of both countries, but also contributed to regional peace and stability at large.
Since the current Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte took office in 2016 despite the United States' unceasing efforts to drive a wedge between them, the two countries have set a good example in shelving their South China Sea disputes and focusing on common development despite the United States' efforts to drive a wedge between them. His successor, Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, has a clear direction to strengthen bilateral cooperation.
The congratulatory message sent by President Xi Jinping to Marcos on Wednesday, immediately after he won the presidential election, shows the great significance that China attaches to bilateral relations.
The son of former Philippine president Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos, who had made historic contributions to the founding and development of China-Philippines relations in the 1970 s and 1980s, Macros Jr has every reason to carry forward that legacy.
President Xi pointed out in his message that both China and the Philippines are at a critical stage of development and their relations enjoy important opportunities and broad prospects. Marcos, who said that the economy, education and infrastructure construction will be the key areas for his team, is expected to take advantage of the opportunities to maintain the positive momentum of bilateral cooperation and upgrade the two countries' comprehensive strategic partnership to new heights.
When U.S. President Joe Biden called Marcos on Wednesday to give his congratulations, he underscored that he looks forward to strengthening the US-Philippines Alliance. The US kept repeating this phrase to convince the former Benigno Aquino IIIAquino III administration of the Philippines to act as a de facto pawn of Washington in the region. This resulted in the Aquino III administration sacrificing the Philippines' interests and regional stability for the US narrow ends.
With his campaign promise of more balanced diplomacy between China and the US, Duterte won the election six years ago, showing that Filipinos were fed up with being used as a piece on the US chessboard.
The country's development should be comparatively stable despite the great difficulties created by the COVID-19 pandemic, and should convince Marcos that this is the right decision. There is no sense in him repeating the errors of Aquino, even though the US will do all it can to persuade him to do so.
It is to be hoped that Marcos will not be swayed by any blandishments or coercion on the part of the US and will act on his campaign promise that he would seek engagement with China rather than confrontation, as that will best serve the interests of his own country and the region.