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03/02/2012: Philippine Ambassador Expresses Solidarity with Chinese Brethren

Ambassador Jose Cuisia delivers his remarks at the US-Asia Institute’s Annual Lunar New Year Celebration before guests representing the U.S. executive and legislative branches and diplomatic corps in Washington, D.C.

03 February 2012, Washington DC. In his remarks during the US-Asia Institute’s Annual Lunar New Year celebration yesterday, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. cited President Benigno S. Aquino III’s declaration of the Chinese New Year as a special non-working holiday as “a manifestation of our solidarity with our Chinese-Filipino brethren who have been part of our lives in many respects as a country and as a people."  The Ambassador also disclosed that President Aquino, himself, can trace his Chinese ancestry to the Co family from the province of Fujian.

Noting that the reception is in honor of the East Asian diplomatic community, Ambassador Cuisia pointed to the Philippines’ active participation in the East Asia Summit, which brings together the leaders of the ten member states of ASEAN and six other Asia-Pacific countries.  He praised President Barack Obama’s attendance at the Bali Summit last November, the first by a U.S. president, and expressed optimism in continued U.S. engagement in the Asian region.

Other guests in attendance included Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade Michelle O'Neill, Senator Daniel K. Akaka of Hawaii, Congressman Mike Honda of California, Congresswoman Judy Chu also of California and also the Chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific Caucus, Japanese Ambassador Ichiro Fujizaki, and Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Quoc Cuong.

The US-Asia Institute was founded in 1979 by Esther G. Kee and the late Joji Konoshima.  It is a nonprofit organization devoted to improving understanding and strengthening ties between the people and governments of the United States and Asia.  Mr. Marlon Young currently serves as Chairman of the Institute, while Mr. Kent Lucken is its President.  END