Chinese envoy to PHL no good health toast for PNoy

In a reception for the 65th founding anniversary of People’s Republic China held at Shangri-La Makati, Chinese Ambassador to Philippines Zhao Jianhua broke the tradition. The top diplomat did not end his speech with a toast for President Aquino’s good health.

Instead, he ended by proposing “a toast to the prosperity and happiness of our peoples, to the friendship and cooperation between China and the Philippines, to the health of all the guests. Cheers!”

Zhao Jianhua insisted in his speech Philippines and China should not go on with the current situation. “China does not approve of exaggerating and sensationalizing the so-called tension in the South China Sea,” the Chinese top diplomat said.

He said “overall situation in the South China Sea is stable and there is no problem with freedom of navigation.”

Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Laura del Rosario, however, offered a toast for China’s leaders. “I would like to end with a toast to your great people, the Chinese government, to your Premier Li Keqiang, and to your President Xi Jinping. We wish you continuous health and prosperity and may the Lord always bless you and everything you do. Mabuhay!”

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario attended the United Nations General Assembly in New York. In his UNGA speech, del Rosario said China “embarked on a series of dangerous, reckless and forceful activities in an attempt to impose unilateral change in the maritime status quo of the South China Sea.”