The Philippine Star : Xi Jinping congratulates ‘17th Philippine president’ Marcos

By The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Chinese President Xi Jinping has congratulated Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for his apparent victory in the presidential elections.

In a phone call Wednesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping told Marcos the two countries had been "partners through thick and thin", Chinese state television reported Thursday.

"I attach great importance to the development of China-Philippines relations and am willing to establish a good working relationship with President-elect Marcos, adhere to good neighbourliness and friendship," Xi said.

Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian forwarded Xi’s congratulatory message to Marcos in a letter that called him “the 17th President of the Philippines.”

Marcos is poised to win the presidential race by a landslide as he obtained more than double the votes that his closest rival, Vice President Leni Robredo, garnered.

Huang, who also congratulated Marcos’ running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio for her apparent victory in the vice presidential election, said China is looking forward to working with their administration to “bring our relationship of comprehensive strategic cooperation to new heights.”

Marcos has enjoyed close ties with China, owing largely to his father’s establishment of diplomatic relations with the country in 1975.

Marcos’ previous statements indicate that he will be pursuing a continuation of President Rodrigo Duterte's policies toward China — seen as too soft by critics — including bilateral talks with the Asian giant on the West Philippine Sea.

But Fitch Solutions said in a commentary that Marcos will likely continue the Philippines’ economic interests and maintain a “delicate balancing act” between the country’s long standing ally, the United States, and its newfound partner, China. — Xave Gregorio with AFP