A CHINESE consul highlighted the importance of international understanding during his visit to the Cebu City Public Library on Friday, January 27.

"I think it is important for one country to learn (about) the outside world, to have more understanding and more friendship, and push forward cooperation," Chinese Consul General Shi Yong said.

Yong was invited in the library as part of its Chinese New Year celebration, which will kick-off Saturday, January 28.

The Chinese official added that it is also important for China and the Philippines to have more cooperation.

"I think they (China and the Philippines) should have more cooperation, because now, we have very friendly neighboring relations," he added.

[READ: Duterte keen to maintain good relationship with China]

Librarian Rosario Chua said their Chinese New Year celebration was launched in 2014, but it stopped after the last Chinese consul died in an accident that resulted in the closure of their consulate.

Chua said she wants to continue the monthly activities relevant to the Chinese culture.

"Mao na ang purpose na para mo-increase pod ang patronage sa library for the Chinese community (The purpose is to increase the patronage to the library for the Chinese community)," she said.

Yong, who admitted it is his first time to visit the Philippines, said he finds China and the Philippines similar and even took photos of the local food.

“I took some photos of local foods and sent them back to my mother, who has never been to the Philippines, and she can tell exactly what's inside the ingredients,” he said.

Feng shui, calligraphy, and storytelling were among the activities held at the library Friday, January 27.

The Chinese consul said he plans to bring more programs and performances like acrobatics and kung fu in the library. (Tovya Kaiko Galeon, USJ-R intern/SunStar Philippines)