MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte isoptimistic that a stronger bond of friendship will be developed between thePhilippines and China after pivoting away from long-time ally United States. “The fact that we are celebrating thisevent and embracing it as one of our own reflects the strong and inseparablebond that has been forged through centuries of friendly and beneficialrelations between the Philippines and China,” Duterte said. “As we open a new page in our sharedhistory, may we foster even stronger bonds of friendship with those of Chinesedescent all around the world through cooperation, investments, culturalexchanges, and people-to-people ties,” he added. “I also hope that the Chinese-Filipinocommunity will continue to engage in socio-civic and charitable acts that willuplift the lives of our people, especially the poor and the marginalized,”Duterte said. Duterte also remained optimistic thatmembers of the Filipino-Chinese community would continue to exhibit “small actsof kindness” that would eventually bring progress to the country. The Philippines established itsdiplomatic ties with China on June 9, 1975. The two countries’ cooperation inthe fields of security, trade, investment, agriculture, tourism, cultural andpeople-to-people exchanges has also improved under Duterte’s watch./PN President Duterte said in a statementover the weekend that the annual Chinese New Year celebrates “new beginningsand ushers in hope and wishes of prosperity for our nation.” “Together, these small acts of kindnessshall create a ripple effect that will benefit not only those belonging to yourcommunity but also countless others, creating a much bigger wave of compassionthat will eventually redound to the greater good of our country,” he added.