China and Cebu are bound in a long history, evident in Parian–the old Chinese quarter of Cebu. In its golden age, this city-quarter is home to the finest houses and shops as well as a grand church.

After the Japanese occupation in World War II, only a few houses and foundations survived to become heritage sites but there is hope for the future of Cebu-Chinese relations as an important envoy from the Dragon republic wishes to establish better trade and investments into the island.

During his first visit to the island, China’s Ambassador to the Philippines Jianchao Liu expressed willingness to improve trade and investment relations with Cebu, saying China would do whatever it could to better know Cebu.

As the Philippines was the largest recipient of China’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) loans at $1.8 billion in the last five years, these loans were intended to help the Philippines construct infrastructure, like roads, railways, waterworks and power supply.

However, most of these projects were in Luzon, especially in Manila and Makati. On the other hand, Cebu has sister-city agreements with cities in China, such as Guangdong, Sichuan and Hainan.

In early 2007, the Chinese learned more about Cebu when it hosted the 12th Association of South East Asian Nations Summit and the 2nd East Asia Summit. The Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 figures show that in the first nine months of this year, tourist arrivals from China and Hong Kong increased by 96.41 percent and 5.04 percent, respectively.

After ranking as the second most visited destination in the country in the second quarter this year, Cebu regained the lead position. This third quarter of 2009, the province received 566,278 foreign and domestic tourists, which is 239,451 more than the figure posted by Camarines Sur, the most visited destination in the previous quarter.

DOT attributed this increase to the opening of new tourism destinations, products and facilities. The agency also cited increased flight frequencies of major airlines from Manila and other islands in the Visayas and Mindanao to Cebu and the expansion in air access to major tourist markets, including China.

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Cudis, Nancy. “Cebu regained lead as top RP destination.” 15 December 2009. The Sun Star Daily Cebu. Accessed 16 December 2009. Link Here.

Lim, Cherry. “Chinese envoy seeks to improve trade, investments in Cebu.” 16 December 2009. The Sun Star Daily Cebu. Accessed 16 December 2009. Link Here


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