His Excellency Ferdinand E. Marcos
President of the Philippines
On the visit of Premier Zhao Ziyang of the People’s Republic of China
[Delivered on August 6, 1981]
Mr. Prime minister, it is with the greatest pleasure that we bid you welcome to the Philippines.
In making this visit to our country, you confer upon our people a great honor for you come as the leader of a country and people for whom we have the greatest respect, admiration and affection.
The ties between China and the Philippines date back many hundreds of years, and today you will find here in our land many tell-tale signs of these ancient and historic bonds. During the next few days, I am certain that you will have the opportunity to witness for yourself the many and varied manifestations of how your great country has enriched our life and culture and even the physical make-up of our citizens. We are equally certain that you will feel the warmth of our people’s deep and abiding friendship for your nation and people.
While it is true that in more modern times our traditional ties and friendly relations have been disrupted, this only gives us more reason to hasten the process of strengthening the areas of cooperation between China and the Philippines.
Upon the kind invitation of your Government, I made a journey to Peking in 1975 to renew our friendship and reestablish normal relations between our two countries. On three occasions in the recent past, the First Lady also has had the chance to visit your country. In every instance we have been overwhelmed by your generosity and kind hospitality.
We have since looked forward to the day when we could reciprocate the many courtesies and acts of kindness you have bestowed on us during those memorable occasions. There have been times when the representatives of your Government have journeyed to our country on various missions aimed at broadening and intensifying the historic accords we signed in Peking. We remember with pleasure the visit in March 1978 of Vice-Premier Li Xiannian, and more recently the presence of Vice-Chairman Yang Shangku at the time of the inauguration of our New Republic. But your visit today, Mr. Prime Minister, marks a high point in China-Philippine relations.
You have come to visit us at a time of eventful changes not only in the People’s Republic of China but also in the Philippines. China has embarked on the challenging task of modernizing her industries, agriculture, national defense and science and technology. Our country has just inaugurated a New Republic. Our shared goal of bringing our countries to modernity can in a sense be brought nearer with every step we take towards mutually beneficial relations.
Before your visit is over, I am confident that new vistas of cooperation shall have been opened.
The many problems that we face not only at home but also in our international relations impose upon us the need for frequent and wide-ranging consultations. We therefore look upon this visit as a singular opportunity for us to review the progress we have made in strengthening our relations and discuss issues that affect the welfare of our peoples as well as the international community.
When we look at your country, we can only feel inspired and gratified to note the great strides you have made towards improving the lot of the masses of your people. We are also aware of the new directions your country has taken in its continuing search for peace and stability in our region and in the world.
Our country can learn much from your efforts to hasten the development process; and we are pledged to support every initiative you may take to ensure progress and stability in our part of the world.
Mr. Prime Minister, allow me once more to extend to you and every member of your party the warmest welcome of our people.
Source: Presidential Museum and Library
Marcos, F. E. (1981). Speeches by President Ferdinand E. Marcos. [Manila] : Presidential Library.