This June, we commemorate the 34th year of our diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. Since 1975, there have been a lot of positive developments in our improved relations. Economics and trade agreements, science, technology, cultural and people-to-people exchanges have enhanced cooperation and better understanding between our two countries.
In recent years, a number of contentious issues have cropped up, highlighting not just the explosive issues surrounding maritime disputes in the South China-West Philippine Sea, but also failed projects like the establishment of the Northrail that will link Metro Manila to Northern Luzon, and the broadband project dubbed the NBN-ZTE deal that got bogged down because of corruption and overpricing.
Throughout these ups and downs in Philippines-China relations, officers and members of the Philippine Association for Chinese Studies (PACS 菲律濱中國研究協會) studiously applied their research and expertise on China and the Chinese to enhance better understanding, promote information exchanges, and conduct activities to ensure better and beneficial Philippine relations with China.
PACS was incorporated in October 1987. It is a non-political and non-profit professional association open to all persons interested in studying China and the Chinese. It seeks, through academic studies, research, seminars, conferences, publications, international exchanges and other activities, to facilitate contact and exchange of information among scholars from various disciplines, and to increase understanding of China and the Chinese.
At the same time, such activities also seek to promote the understanding of the Philippines and the Filipinos among the Chinese.
A sampling of conferences in the past 10 years gives a glimpse of what PACS has done in the past and will continue to do in the future.
• November 2018: Forum on Philippines-China Relations: Geopolitics Perspectives and Realities
• September 2018: Focused Group Discussion on: China’s rise, new immigrants (新僑): Impact on the Philippines
• December 2017: PACS celebrated its 30th founding anniversary with the year-long theme, “Cultivating Community, Knowledge, and Nation: 1987-2017.” A culminating conference highlighted bilateral economic relations. Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia and Philippine Ambassador to China Chito Santa Romana were the keynote speakers.
• PACS 30th Anniversary Seminar Series included topics such as: “China and North East Asia: A Colloquium for Beginning Scholars,” May 2017; “Friendly Needles and Traditional Chinese Medicine,” June 2017; “Philippine-China Economics Forum: Towards Philippine Inclusive Growth,” November 2017; and a big conference on the “ 600th Anniversary of the Commemoration of Sulu Sultan Paduka’s Voyage to China: Historical Ties and Enduring Connections of the Philippines-China Relations,” Nov. 24-25, 2017.
• July 2016 Bilateral Symposium and Dialogue on Beyond Conflict: The Future of Philippines-China Relations
• December 2013: Symposium on Philippines-China Relations: Building Opportunities in Times of Crisis
• May 2012: National Conference on the Ethnic Chinese as Filipinos (Special Focus on Mindanao)
• October 2010: Forum on Exploring New Directions of Philippines-China Relations
• March 2010: Roundtable Discussion on the Rise of China and Its Effects on East and the Philippines
• July 2009: Roundtable Discussion on the Rise of China and Its Impact on Immigrant Chinese Communities: Comparing Experiences in the US and the Philippines
• March 2009: Roundtable Discussion on Philippines-China Relations with Ambassador Liu Jianchao and Washington SyCip
The next rounds of Carlos Chan Lectures on Philippines-China relations will cover topics such as Chinese immigrants to the Philippines and Filipino immigrants to China, geo-political perspectives, the SCS/WPS disputes, challenges in the Philippines-China relations and others.
PACS publications cover a wide-range of topics such as politics, economics, diplomacy, education, Chinese Filipinos, new immigrants and others.