China hopes for improved relations with new PH envoy

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06:13 PM December 5th, 2012

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By: Fat Reyes, December 5th, 2012 06:13 PM

Foreign Affairs undersecretary Erlinda Basilio (L) talks with Chinese vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying (R) prior to their meeting at the foreign affairs office in Manila in this October 2012 file photo. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA/INQUIRER

MANILA, Philippines—China on Wednesday welcomed the appointment of Erlinda Basilio as the new Philippine ambassador to China, saying that Beijing was hoping her appointment would contribute to the advancement of the two countries’ strained bilateral relations.

“We attach importance to our relations with the Philippines. It is our hope that the early appointment of the new ambassador may facilitate the communication between both sides and the development of our bilateral relations,” Zhang Hua, spokesperson of the Chinese embassy in Manila, said in a statement.

The 68-year old seasoned diplomat, who helped draft the national diplomatic policy in her stint as foreign department undersecretary, would take over the post left vacant by Ambassador Sonia Brady at the height of tensions in territorial disputes in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

Brady left her post and returned to Manila after she suffered a stroke in Beijing in August.

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