Duterte officially welcomes new Chinese envoy
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday welcomed China’s newly-appointed ambassador to the Philippines, Huang Xilian, in a ceremony held in Malacañang.
President Rodrigo Duterte welcomes China’s newly-appointed ambassador to the Philippines, Huang Xilian, in Malacanñang on Wednesday, Dec. 4. 2019. (Screenshot from RTVM Facebook)
Huang presented his credentials to Duterte to officially mark the start of his tour of duty in the Philippines.
“We are proud that China and the Philippines are two great friends and I welcome you to your new assignment…(I wish) it would be productive,” Duterte told Huang.
The ceremony is a diplomatic requirement in which the Philippine government formally recognizes an ambassador as the official representative of his country.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte receives the credentials of H.E. Huang Xilian, Resident Ambassador-Designate of the People’s Republic of China to the Philippines, at the Reception Hall of Malacañan Palace on December 4, 2019. #DuterteLegacy#ComfortableLifeForAll#PartnerForChange***
Posted by Radyo Pilipinas on Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Huang replaced Zhao Jinhua, who started his five-year stint as ambassador to Manila in 2014 at the height of a maritime dispute between the Philippines and China over the South China Sea. Zhao’s duty as a Chinese ambassador to the Philippines came to a close as Manila and Beijing forged warmer ties under the Duterte administration.
Duterte has been criticized for supposedly kowtowing to China’s aggressive claim in the West Philippine Sea. He has chosen to set aside the 2016 Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling that invalidated Beijing’s expansive claim in the disputed territories in exchange for economic perks to help fund his administration’s infrastructure projects.
Also on Wednesday, the President welcomed in Malacañang the Ambassador-Designate of Denmark, Grete Sillasen; Ambassador-Designate of Sri Lanka, Shobini Gunasekera; Ambassador-Designate of The Hellenic Republic, Antonis Alexandridis; Ambassador-Designate of Myanmar, U Lwin Oo; and Ambassador-Designate of South Africa, Batinah Ntombizodwa Radebe-Netshitenzhe.