Philippines Table of Contents
Philippine relations with China and Taiwan were cautious in the 1990s. Manila's relations with Beijing were hostile in the 1950s and 1960s. The unspoken threat of Chinese aid to the New People's Army was ever present but never materialized. By contrast, the Filipino-Chinese business community had many connections with relatives and partners in Taiwan. Diplomatic relations between Manila and Beijing were opened in 1973. Since that time, the relationship has been correct but not warm.
In 1988 Aquino visited China, met with elder statesman Deng Xiaoping, and made a ceremonial pilgrimage to her ancestral home and temple in Fujian Province. The closer relationship fostered by that trip later dissipated because of Beijing's sensitivity to what was perceived as a Philippine bias in favor of Taiwan. A Philippine government spokesperson had inadvertently referred to a visiting delegation from Taiwan as representatives of "the Republic of China." The disclosure of a secret visit to Taiwan, made by the Philippine secretary of foreign affairs, Raul Manglapus, in October 1989, upset Beijing even more. In 1990 Aquino reaffirmed the Philippines' one-China policy, but she reserved the right to develop trade and economic ties with Taiwan. China, for its parts, has sought with limited success to conduct an "oil diplomacy" with the Philippines, a country completely dependent on imported oil. In December 1990 Aquino welcomed the Chinese premier, Li Peng, to Manila after earlier having suspended official contacts in the wake of the June 1989 violence around Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
Data as of June 1991