Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian (fourth from left) is welcomed by Chinese-Filipino community leaders past midnight Tuesday at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Huang is expected to present his credentials to President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacañang on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. (Contributed Photo)

Newly appointed Chinese ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian arrived past midnight Tuesday, hours before the airport closed for an incoming typhoon.

Huang was welcomed by protocol officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines and representatives of various Chinese communities across the country.

In his brief remarks, Huang said he was honored and grateful to have been appointed envoy to a country he felt at home in.

“Truly delighted for the Philippines’ accomplishment. I have every reason to believe and expect that the country will achieve greater strength and prosperity in the coming years and decades,” said Huang.

He said that under President Xi Jinping and President Duterte, China-Philippines relations had a turnaround, consolidation and elevation in the past three years, resulting in “a fresh Golden Age for the two countries.”

Huang noted that his appointment to the Philippines came ahead of the 45th anniversary of the establishment of China-Philippines diplomatic relations next year.

Born in Fujian Province, Huang said his relatives have been telling him that the Philippines “which faces China across the sea is our relative with
close kinship and cultural bond.” (Melo M. Acuña)