Source: People’s Daily
China and the Philippines have enjoyed sound development of cultural exchanges in recent years.
At the 39th Manila International Book Fair held this September, booths of Chinese books made their debut. Among them, the first and second volumes of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s book “Xi Jinping: The Governance of China” attracted a number of Philippine readers at the fair.
In addition, Chinese book corners have been established in many public libraries such as the National Library of the Philippines. They bring great satisfaction to Chinese-language learners in the country and opened a window for Philippine readers to know more about China.
China-Philippines education cooperation also made new progress. Chinese has been officially introduced as a foreign language to the curriculum system of Philippine public middle schools by the country’s Department of Education.
At present, 82 public middle schools in the Philippines offer Chinese-language courses, and China has trained 304 Chinese-language teachers for the Philippines, according to Zhang Shifang, chief of the Chinese Language Program of the Philippine Department of Education.
This year, 11,000 students from Philippine public middle schools have taken part in the Chinese Proficiency Test, China’s only standardized test of Chinese language proficiency for non-native speakers, Zhang noted.
“Chinese language teaching shows a vital momentum in Philippine mainstream society, and the Philippine Department of Education is looking forward to enhancing cooperation with China’s Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) in the training of local Chinese language teachers,” Zhang said.
Tourism cooperation has become a highlight after China and the Philippines embraced the turnabout of bilateral ties. In the first 7 months of 2018, 760,000 Chinese tourists visited the Philippines, up 40 percent from a year ago. The whole-year figure is expected to hit 1.5 million.
People-to-people exchanges between China and the Philippines have withstood the tests of disasters. China always lends a helping hand immediately after natural disasters occur in the Philippines.
The country actively assisted the infrastructure reconstruction of Marawi and promoted water system project in the Philippines’ rural region, supporting the Philippines to improve livelihood, reduce poverty and realize sustainable development with practical action.
Philippines-China relations are at best in recent years, said Sixto Benedicto，vice chairman of Association for Philippines-China Understanding (APCU). It is believed that through expansion of openness and communication, China and the Philippines can continue to enhance mutual understanding and trust, and consolidate public opinion basis, so as to become reliable cooperation partners for each other, he noted.
Dancers of Ballet Philippines perform in Beijing. The group visited Beijing and Shanghai this year, a return visit to the Philippine by the National Ballet of China two years ago. Photo by Xinhua News Agency