Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. proposed increased cooperation and exchanges between non-government organizations (NGOs) in the Philippines and China, saying it would go a long way towards enhancing the bilateral relations between the two countries.
Marcos aired the proposal in his speech during the June 3-4 “China-Southeast Asia People’s High-Level Dialogue” in the City of Nanning in Guangxi, China.
The senator went on a 5-day official trip to China (May 31-June 4) to attend the dialogue as chair of the Senate Committee on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement upon the invitation of the China NGO Network for International Exchanges (CNIE) based in Beijing and Guangzhou.
During the dialogue, Marcos said that both the Philippines and China should strive to make their differences over conflicting territorial claims a minor part of their relationship and instead pursue further contacts, exchanges and cooperation in other sectors.
He said the two countries could pursue such exchanges and cooperation in the areas of trade, tourism, education, health and social protection issues, mutual assistance during disasters, and in culture and arts.
“These areas of possible partnerships in international exchanges and cooperation can only be enhanced by the participation of organizations such as CNIE whose network of NGOs can serve as a conduit for such activities,” Marcos said.
He said this avenue of exchange holds a lot of promise since the Philippines is internationally recognized as one of the leading countries in terms of active NGOs operating and assisting in various sectors of the Philippines society.
“We look forward to working with our Chinese counterparts through organizations such as CNIE for the continued enhancement of friendship between our two countries, ASEAN and the region,” Marcos said.