Chinese envoy makes farewell call on Aquino

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Monday, December 23, 2013

OUTGOING Chinese ambassador to the Philippines Ma Keqing on Monday paid her farewell call on President Benigno Aquino III.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda expressed hope that whoever will replace Ma, the relations of the Philippines and China will continue to be multi-leveled despite the territorial row between the two countries.

"Well, understandably, bilang isang ambassador you will defend the interests of your country. We will expect that the relationship pa rin ng China and the Philippines regardless of the ambassador will continue to be [multi-leveled]. Hindi lang naman, again, focused on this issue of the Scarborough but patuloy po ang exchanges, friendly exchanges natin with China," he said in a news briefing on the Palace's expectation on Ma's replacement.

He stressed that the relation of the two countries was never focused on the tension over the West Philippine Sea.

"It has always been multi-faceted, multi-dimensional. I am certain that despite the differences we will have a friendly and a warm departure for Ambassador Ma Keqing," Lacierda said.

Ma, who is ending her tour of duty, was accompanied by officials of the Chinese embassy in Manila during her farewell call on the President in Malacanang.

With her were deputy chief of mission Sun Xianyang and political counselor Wu Zheng Ping.

On the Philippine side were Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Undersecretary Laura del Rosario and Assistant Secretary Ma. Theresa Lazaro.

During her stint in the Philippines, Ma helped maintain multilateral ties between the two countries, the Palace said. (SDR/Sunnex)

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