Today we celebrate 75 years of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and the United States.
This year our two countries also mark 70 years of the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT), which “enables close security cooperation and enhances mutual peace and security” between the Philippines and the US.
The Philippines is also the United States’ oldest treaty ally in Asia.
We believe Filipinos and Americans have unbreakable bonds and we will certainly be friends and allies for many, many years to come.
The United States is home tosome 4.1 million Filipinos, or Americans with Filipino ancestry, with large communities in the states of California, Hawaii, Illinois, Texas, and New York. On the other hand, there aresome 350,000 US citizens living in the Philippines.
We remember with pleasure when then U.S. President George W. Bush, on our invitation as then Speaker of the House, addressed the joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives on October 18, 2003.
The other world leaders who addressed the joint session of the Philippine Congress when we were Speaker of the House were Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf on April 18, 2005; Chinese President Hu Jintao on April 27, 2005; and Indian President APJ Abdul President Kalam on February 6, 2006.
Notably, our country is also celebrating this year our 75 years of diplomatic relations with 22 other countries, namely, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Lebanon, Liberia, Luxemburg, Panama, Paraguay, Portugal, Syria, and the United Kingdom.
Believing that political parties can and must complement the efforts of governments and parliaments in strengthening diplomatic relations between countries and in advancing common causesbesetting the international community, we in the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) initiated a meeting with leaders of the U.S. Democratic and Republican parties last December, 2019, to discuss ways and means of cooperation on issues of mutual interest.
Currently, ICAPP,has working partnerships with the political parties of Latin America under the Association of Political Parties of Latin America and the Caribbean (COPPPAL), the African political parties under the Council of African Political Parties (CAPP), and various political parties in Europe.
We take pride and joy that ICAPP, a Philippine-led initiative, now represents some 350 ruling and opposition political parties from 52 countries in Asia, including the major political parties in the Philippines, namely, Lakas-CMD, PDP-Laban, Liberal Party (LP), Nacionalista Party (NP), Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), among others.
We wish to congratulate the Communist Party of China (CPC), led by its general secretary and President Xi Jinping, on its 100th founding anniversary on July 1.
The Communist Party of China is the sole governing political party of China and the world’s second largest political party with more than 95 million members. The biggest political party in the world is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of India, led by current Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Both the Chinese Communist Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party sit in the International Conference of Asian Political Parties’ standing committee, our organization’s governing body.
We in International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) value our partnership with the Communist Party of China, as well as its many great contributions in advancing ICAPP’s goal of promoting friendship, understanding and cooperation among countries and peoples in Asia and the international community through the channel and network of political parties.
Since our launching of the ICAPP in Manila in September, 2000, we have observed and admired that the Communist Party of China and the Chinese government have played and continue to play a great role in the peace and development of Asia and its peoples, rising from the tragedies and difficulties to become a global economic power today, lifting living standards, modernizing agriculture, education, and industries.
Indeed, China has achieved “the greatest economic revolution in human history.”
China is our country’s biggest trading partner and the second largest foreign investor.