Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day in the Philippines Date in the current year: June 9, 2024

Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day in the Philippines Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day is celebrated annually on June 9. It was created to commemorate the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations and celebrate their shared history and cultural commonalities.

The history of the China-Philippines relations can be traced back to the pre-colonial era in the Philippines and Song dynasty in China. Ethnic Han Chinese sailed around the Philippine archipelago from the 9th century onward and frequently traded with the locals. Imperial China recognized several independent polities in what is now Philippines, and the Chinese Emperor received embassies from Filipino sultans, rajahs, and datus (chiefs).

During the Spanish colonial era, there was Chinese immigration to the Philippines, mostly due to the lucrative trade of the Manila galleons. A particularly big wave of immigration occurred in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Its main triggers were bad governance and economic problems in China.

When the Philippines gained independence in 1946, China was torn apart by a civil war. The government of the newly independent Philippines chose to establish diplomatic relations with the Nationalist government of the Republic of China, led by Kuomintang, and continued to maintain them after the founding of the People’s Republic of China in mainland China and the subsequent relocation of the Nationalist government to Taiwan. During the Cold War, the Philippines and Taiwan were aligned with the anti-communist Western Bloc, which regarded the communist government of China as a security threat.

The Philippine government began considering normalizing relations with mainland China in the early 1970s and officially recognized the People’s Republic on China a few years later. The leaders of the two countries officially established diplomatic relations on June 9, 1975.

The relations between the Philippines and China have been uneven. They peaked during the presidencies of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in the 2000s and Rodrigo Duterte in the late 2010s and early 2020s, but experienced a setback during the presidencies of Benigno Aquino III in the early 2010s and Bongbong Marcos in the early 2020s due to territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Despite all the ups and downs, the two countries have signed a number of bilateral agreements, and China is the Philippines’ top trading partner. Besides, Chinese Filipinos (or Filipino Chinese) are one of the largest communities of overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia; they have preserved many Chinese customs and cultural traditions that were destroyed or suppressed during the Cultural Revolution in China, as well as have developed their own unique customs.

Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day was established 2002 by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. It is not the only holiday honoring the Philippines’ friendship with another nation; Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day is observed annually on June 30, and Filipino-American Friendship Day is celebrated on July 4, coinciding with the United States Independence Day and the anniversary of the Treaty of Manila that recognized the independence of the Republic of the Philippines.

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Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day in the Philippines, holidays in the Philippine, cultural observances, China-Philippines relations