MANILA — Yazhou Zhoukan, a popular Chinese language magazine, has granted President Rodrigo Duterte “Person of the Year” award, according to Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella on Tuesday.
Abella said the famous Chinese magazine picked President Duterte based on the new Filipino leader’s independent foreign policy that consists of his distancing away from the United States and forging closer ties with China.
“The article also praises Duterte’s program of good governance and anti-corruption campaign as a reason for his popularity among the Filipinos,” Abella said.
Yazhou Zhoukan is the world’s only Chinese language weekly international magazine with circulation in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia.
Last October, President Duterte received a grand welcome from top Chinese leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, when the Filipino leader visited Beijing.
Duterte, who took office only in June last year, said it’s time to renew the Philippines’ relationship with China.
President Duterte’s four-day trip to China has calmed down tensions brought by the decision of the international arbitral tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands in favor of the Philippines’ arbitration case against China over the disputed West Philippine Sea or South China Sea.
The ruling concluded that China has no legal basis to claim historic rights using a nine-dash line map that covers most of the South China sea which also being claimed partly by Brunei, Vietnam, Taiwan, Indonesia and Malaysia.
President Duterte has said he would not insist the arbitral ruling which China did not recognize.
The President’s recent visit to China has resulted to USD24 billion worth of investments and financing agreements. PNA