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PIA Press Release
2006/10/28

PGMA meets with Filipino community in Xiamen

XIAMEN, China (via PLDT/SMART) (28 October) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took time out from her very hectic schedule here yesterday afternoon to meet with the Filipino community in Fujian province whom she hailed for their invaluable contribution to the progress of the Philippines.

In what was considered as an "at ease" event at Xiamenís Xianglu Hotel, everyone, including the President, was requested to take it easy for the hour-long meeting which was marked with exchanges of pleasantries and photo opportunities.

In her speech before the close to 200 Filipinos present at the meeting, the President said she is proud of the Filipinos working here because most of them are employed as professional workers.

Many of those who attended the meeting took time off from their work and traveled up to three hours by land to catch a glimpse of the President.

"In Xiamen and its surrounding areas, I am happy to note that majority of Filipinos here are actually engaged in professional or technical work," President Arroyo said.

"I am proud of the status and reputation of Filipinos in this part of China," she added.

The President also noted that the family roots of the countryís national hero Dr. Jose Rizal came from China, particularly Xiamen.

"The Chinese roots of our national hero underscore the racial and blood ties that Filipinos have with the Chinese especially from this area of southern China," she said.

She noted that although the official ties between the two countries began only 31 years ago, their friendship and trade relations have been going on for over a thousand years.

She said the past five years of bilateral ties from 2001 to 2005 have been the "golden age of partnership" where relations between the two countries are at an "all-time high and are based on mutual respect."

"Our nationís relationship with China is among the most important ties of our country. Philippine relations with China are now more confident, mature and comprehensive, punctuated with substantial and important projects aimed at deepening exchanges in a number of areas, including economics, trade and investment and even defense and security," the President said. (PIA) [top]

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