LAOAG CITY, July 30–Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos has accorded a warm welcome to Chinese Ambassador Ma Keqing during her friendly visit here last week, July 26-27. The lady envoy had a courtesy call on the Governor at the provincial capitol. As main purpose, she inspected the Consulate office of the People’s Republic of China based at nearby San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte, a border town from this city.
Ilocos Norte had long fostered a strong relationship with China since the time of President Ferdinand Marcos’administration in the 1960s-1980s. In her brief remarks, Ambassador noted a continuing partnership opportunities between the province and China.
“I think Ilocos Norte is a sister province with Shangdong province in China,” she said. “You have had some exchanges of visits, and I think the provincial government is very keen to have more cooperation.”
Her two-day itinerary began on Thursday with lunch at the Fort Ilocandia Resort Hotel , a visit to the famous centuries-old Paoay Church which is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Marcos Museum in Batac City. In the evening , she attended a dinner hosted by members of the Laoag Filipino-Chinese Community.
On Friday, she and her entourage went to the St. Santiago Chinese Elementary School here and later had a lunch with the officials and staff of the Chinese Consular office of Ilocos Norte.
The Ambassador and her party also toured around Laoag and Sarrat and paid a visit to the Chinese Temple here. Before her exit, Governor Marcos tendered a dinner party in her honor held at the Malacanang of the North in Suba, Paoay town. Other guests who attended the party were the Consul General of the Chinese Embassy, officers of the Chinese Consulate in Laoag, members of the Laoag Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Mariano Marcos State University exchange students from China, the Paoay National Scholars in Mandarin.- (Nicole C. Rudio, CMO-PGIN)