SPEAKER Martin G. Romualdez has hailed the successful state visit of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. to China, which he believes would lead to more positive engagements between Manila and Beijing.
Romualdez was part of the Philippine delegation to China during Marcos' state visit there from January 3 to 5.
"The state visit was highly successful because there were many engagements at different levels," Romualdez said upon returning to the country on Thursday afternoon.
Among others, the Speaker recalled the President’s interaction with the Chairman of the standing committee of the National People's Congress (NPC).
"So upon the instruction of our President, we shall engage our counterparts at the parliament—at our Senate and Congress level. This provides better coordination and more understanding and better cooperation at that level," Romualdez said.
"Then we also had a meeting with the Premier, Li Keqiang and followed by a bilateral [meeting] with no less than the President of the People's Republic of China President Xi Jinping," he noted.
"These personal engagements mean a lot because the person-to-person meeting lends itself to not only a better rapport but provides better confidence and more understanding of the nuances with the relations," Romualdez explained.
Romualdez also revealed that Marcos had invited Xi and the latter's wife, First Lady Peng Liyuan, to visit the Philippines.
"After this state visit, our President invited President Xi Jinping and his wife first lady, First Lady Peng Liyuan, to come to the Philippines. These type of exchanges promotes deeper and healthier relationships because trust and confidence with one another is built up,” the Speaker said.
"From the looks of it, I think that might be forthcoming because they actually enjoyed each other's company and that's of the respective First Lady Louisa Araneta Marcos and the First Lady Peng, [it] went very well," added Romualdez, noting that the two First Ladies had ‘chemistry right from the start’," he added.
Likewise, he noted that Marcos and Xi also had good rapport during their exchanges.
Romualdez said the Philippines look forward to these exchanges with China that were not possible during the past two and a half years because of the restrictions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.(END)