Chinese exec sees ‘trust deficit’ as challenge in PH-China ties
MANILA, Philippines — A Chinese official said he sees the “trust deficit” between the Philippines and China as a challenge in the bilateral relationship between the two countries.
Speaking at the Belt and Road China-Philippines Forum on People-to-People Exchange & Economic Cooperation in Pasay City on Friday, Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister-Counsellor at the Embassy of China in Manila Tan Qingsheng admitted that “even the closest friends or happiest couple can still have differences and arguments.”
“The other challenge for us is the trust deficit. The relationship between two countries is similar to that of two persons,” Tan said.
“The secret of friendship or love is to put our differences at a suitable place without undermining the overall relations,” he added.
Tan’s statement followed the recent maritime issues that tested the Philippines’ relationship with the east Asian economic powerhouse.
These incidents include a reported ramming of a Philippine fishing boat by a Chinese vessel in Recto (Reed) Bank in the West Philippine Sea, which left 22 Filipino fishermen left at sea on the night of June 9.
A verbal agreement between President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping also became a topic of concern as it allowed China to fish in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.
“In our bilateral relation sometimes a simple incident or a single issue can be blown out of proportion,” Tan went on.
Communications Secretary Martin Andanar echoed the position of the Chinese official, saying that issues like that on the West Philippine Sea, should not “run the entire bilateral relationship” between the Philippines and China.
“Palagay ko naman maraming types of relationships ang Pilipinas at ang China. Nandyan yung relationship natin sa ating education, relationship sa agticulture, culture at meron din yung relationship na yung sa West Philippine Sea,” Andanar told reporters on the sidelines of the forum.
“So yo’ng aspeto na yun alam kong meron tayong problema, pero the problemthere would not be the one that will basically run the entire bilateral relationship of both countries. It’s just one aspect,” he further said.
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