Basketball superstar Yao Ming affirms PH-China friendship
In a demonstration of the abiding friendship and kinship between the Philippines and China, which enjoy centuries of uninterrupted friendly ties as trade cooperation also remains strong and deep among both countries peoples, famous Chinese basketball star Yao Ming was invited guest of honor at the Sports Day charity event for disadvantaged children held at Malacaang Palace.
The event was hosted by First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos and was graced by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
The friendly 76 Yao Ming had excelled as center from 2002-11 for the two-time NBA champion Houston Rockets.
This Yao Ming visit was a positive event, almost similar to the pingpong diplomacy in the early 1970s between the US and China which helped to open the Peoples Republic of Chinas diplomatic relations with the US after the Cold War era of distrust.
Basketball diplomacy of this Sports Day in Malacaang has allowed the Philippines and China to boost traditional friendship. Even former political rivals also renewed friendship, with President Marcos Jr. hugging his election rival, ex-Sen. and former boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, who was among the VIPs who graced the event.