LAST Monday, October 28, 2019, His Excellency, Zhao Jianhua, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China, paid a farewell visit to PDU30, after ending his nearly five years tour of duty here.
But unlike his two immediate predecessors, Amb. Liu Jianchao (2009 - 2011) and, Amb. Ma Keqing (January 2012 to 2014), I am sure that Amb. Zhao would be leaving the country satisfied that the relationship between our two countries are at its strongest and highest point, after those “turbulent years” of our diplomatic ties under the US-puppet regime of Noynoy Aquino.
It can be said that it was sheer “bad luck” that hounded the tour of duty of Amb. Liu and Amb. Ma, respectively.
In the case of Amb. Liu, not only was the “Luneta Massacre,” which happened in August 2011 sufficient enough to strain the ties between Manila and Beijing; since early in the year and until Amb. Ma took over, it can be said that our relationship is nearing rock bottom with the series of incidents involving Filipino fishermen, our Phil. Navy and Coast Guard and those from China.
That relationship was near rock bottom because while engaging in diplomatic talks, Noynoy’s regime has this penchant of using the media to embarrass, intimidate and yes, provoke China—actions that were of course, “music to the ears” of our American imperialist master.
Nevertheless, Amb. Zhao would have his share of woes in the performance of his duty because it was in 2014, during his early months here that PNoy decided to file that utterly useless and highly provocative “complaint” before the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA).
As if this was not enough, PNoy and his fellow “Americanistas” in the Congress and the Senate, signed in the same year the EDCA (Enhance Defense Cooperation Agreement) with Uncle Sam thus making any area of the country subject for use by the American military.
Under such circumstances, we can only imagine the despair and lamentations of Amb. Zhao because, how can the relationship between the two countries improve when your host country has nothing better to do than pique and embarrass your own country?
This unabated series of embarrassing China came during the November 2015 APEC Summit in Manila, the second year of Amb. Zhao’s tour when Pres. Xi Jin Ping was forced to walk alone in the red carpet of the PICC, with Noynoy totally ignoring him and instead opting to discuss mundane matters with Chilean Pres. Michelle Bachelet.
“Painful to watch. Xi in long, lonely walk up APEC 2015 red carpet, completely ignored by Aquino and Bachelet,” journalist Jerome Taylor tweeted back then,” thus reported the Yellow’s favorite online news outlet, Rappler.’
And to think that prior to this, Pres. Xi even paid our country the highest compliment when he donned a ‘Barong Tagalog,’ our national garment for men, when he met with PNoy.
As the Chinese ambassador here, one can only sympathize with Amb. Zhao over the way his country’s president—and China for that matter— was treated by our government. And as Communist Party member, what would the party’s leaders say about him?
But the heaven must have been kind for Amb. Zhao and our country, dear readers.
For whoever thought that a provincial mayor from Mindanao would end up being elected as our next president who is determined to put into practice what Article II, Section 7 demands of Constitution demands from our state leaders—the implementation of an “independent foreign policy.”
Indeed, had Pres. Digong not won the presidency, what could have been, in general, the state of our country now and in particular, what could have been the state of our relationship with China now?
And so, Amb. Zhao, the fifteenth Chinese ambassador since the opening of our diplomatic ties with China in 1975, is finally leaving.
And one would like to believe that he is leaving not with sadness but with great satisfaction and that feeling of success that finally, the Philippines and China are the best of friends once again this side of the Pacific.
Good luck, Amb. Zhao and may you carry with you the gratitude and thanks of the majority of our people who, just like the Chinese, cherish and value the long historical ties—thru ups and downs—of our two countries.
And after “surviving” the Philippines, I am sure that future challenges coming your way would be “a walk in the park,” hehehe!
Goodbye, for now, Amba and yes, MABUHAY KA!