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Manila, Guangzhou renew 40-year-old ties

Manila and Guangzhou ties
Manila and Guangzhou officials after signing an MOU for the renewed sister-city ties between said two cities. Seated are (from left) Manila City Administrator Bernie Ang, Vice Mayor Yul Servo, Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna and deputy director-general of Foreign Affairs Office of Guangzhou China Hongzhe Tu and Zewu Liu, Vice President of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Guangzhou Committee. Standing from left are Manila's tourism chief Charlie Dungo, Manila Sports Council (MASCO) head Roel de Guzman, permits bureau chief Levi Facundo,Lacuna's chief of staff Joshue Santiago, Councilors Ruben Buenaventura and DJ Bagatsing, Universidad de Manila president Ma. Felma Carlos-Tria, division of city schools Supt. Rita Riddle and (right) Manila Chinatown Development Council (MCDC) liaison officer Owen So. (JERRY S. TAN)

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) renewing the 40-year-old sister-city relations between the cities of Manila and Guangzhou, China was signed by Mayor Honey Lacuna and Guangzhou Mayor Guo Yonghang.

The Guangzhou delegation paid a courtesy visit to Lacuna, accompanied by city administrator Bernie Ang, Manila-China Affairs Coordinating Office (MCACO) officer Anna Sy Lim and Manila Chinatown Development Council (MCDC) liaison officer Owen So.

They, along with other city officials namely Manila Sports Council (MASCO) head Roel de Guzman, permits bureau chief Levi Facundo, the mayor’s chief of staff Joshue Santiago, tourism chief Charlie Dungo, Universidad de Manila president Ma. Felma Carlos-Tria and division of city schools Supt. Rita Riddle, among others, witnessed the simple signing ceremonies held at the mayor’s office in City Hall.

The Chinese delegation was led by deputy director-general of Foreign Affairs Office of Guangzhou China Hongzhe Tu and Zewu Liu, Vice President of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Guangzhou Committee.

The MOU cited the fact that both cities have long nurtured strong bonds of mutual trust and respect through active exchanges in various fields and thus remain committed to sustain and further develop friendship and collaboration for the mutual benefit of their citizens.

Manila and Guangzhou ties
Representatives from Manila and Guangzhou pose before the seal of Manila and the two flags signifying unity between the two cities. In photo are (from left) Manila-China Affairs Coordinating Office (MCACO) officer Anna Sy Lim; deputy section chief Xie Yangbo; Vice President of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Guangzhou Committee Zewu Liu; Manila City Administrator Bernie Ang; Deputy director general of Foreign Affairs Office of Guangzhou China Tu Hongzhe, general affairs division chief Xie Pingping; Manila Chinatown Development Council (MCDC) liaison officer Owen So and staff member Jiena Xiao. (JERRY S. TAN)

It also seeks to jointly explore and support new avenues of cooperation and exchanges in a wide range of commercial and educational areas such as information technology, digital technology, green technology, tourism financial services, business operations, sustainability and biotechnology.

Cultural, educational and scientific exchanges and fostering of stronger ties between cultural and academic institutions of both cities will also be explored further. Both mayors expressed desire for a fruitful cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, culture, education and people-to-people exchanges.

Lacuna cited the aid extended by the China government to Manila at the height of the pandemic.

Manila, through the efforts of city administrator Ang, was the only local government in the country that was allowed to directly purchase 400,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines from China.

This, according to the mayor, helped t he city ramp up its vaccination efforts so that Manila led in achieving population immunity in no time.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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