President Benigno S. Aquino III conferred the Order of Sikatuna to the outgoing Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Liu Jianchiao in recognition of his important role in further strengthening the foundation of bilateral relations between the two countries.
In his farewell call at the Music Room of the Palace on Monday, Ambassador Liu received the Order of Sikatuna with the Rank of Datu, Grand Cross (Gold Distinction) from President Aquino for outstanding efforts in strengthening relations through the conduct of high level meetings between the Philippines and the Peoples’ Republic of China, the preparations of visits of high-ranking officials from both sides including the State Visit of President Aquino to China.
The Chinese envoy was regarded for his part in convening the bilateral consultative mechanisms including Foreign Ministry Consultations and facilitation activities between the two countries in celebration of the 35th Anniversary of the Philippine-China diplomatic relations, the signing of key bilateral agreements and his constructive role following the Hong Kong hostage crisis.
The President also noted Ambassador Liu’s efforts in enhancing economic cooperation between the two countries, making China one of the top trading partners of the Philippines and one of the largest source of development assistance.
Ambassador Liu was accompanied by his wife, Wang Yihong and other officials of the Chinese embassy during his farewell call in Malacanang.
Also present during the event were Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Asian and Pacific Affairs Maria Theresa Lazaro, among others.
Later, the incoming Ambassadors of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Panama presented their respective Credentials to President Aquino.
First to present his credentials was Iranian Ambassador Ali Asghar Mohammadi who is on his second tour of duty to the country. Ambassador Mohammadi extended his President’s best regards to President Aquino, who in return, expressed gratitude in welcoming the new envoy.