Governor Erico Aristotle C. Aumentado hosted yesterday the Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines, H.E. Huang Xilian, at the Bohol Capitol Building in Tagbilaran City to strengthen the development cooperation between the People’s Republic of China, specifically the Provincial Government of Jiangxi, and the Provincial Government of Bohol. As both the Philippines and China are commemorating their 47th year of diplomatic relations, the visit was also an opportunity to reaffirm the strong ties and close cooperation between the two countries, as well as to discuss Bohol’s development roadmap in the fields of tourism, agriculture, infrastructure, and education that may be of interest to the Chinese side.At the start of the meeting, the local chief executive welcomed the ambassador to the province and expressed his willingness to strengthen cooperation between the two sides, while the Chinese envoy conveyed his congratulations on the assumption of Aumentado as governor of Bohol. Agriculture, infrastructure, energy, and people-to-people sharing were identified by Ambassador Xilian as the four areas of cooperation between China and the Philippines, under the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. In doing so, he emphasized China’s leadership and innovation in these areas and his commitment to assist Bohol in these areas.The sisterhood partnership between the Provinces of Bohol (Philippines) and Jiangxi (PRC) was also discussed, in which it is noted that both sides benefitted from the enhanced cooperation brought about by the agreement. It was first signed during the administration of the late Governor Erico B. Aumentado, father of the current governor.Education, health, and industry are also discussed, in which possible cooperation in these areas were tackled, such as assistance in rehabilitating school buildings that were damaged by Super typhoon Odette last December 2021, expansion of Mandarin Chinese learning in schools, and the establishment of a possible “Two Countries, Two Parks” program, where industrial zones are hoping to be established in Bohol and a counterpart province in China.The ambassador also expressed his willingness to look into ways to explore partnerships between the two sides, especially on the provision of supply of affordable fertilizers and assistance for the development of hatcheries in the fisheries sector, as the agriculture sector takes center stage in the current priorities of the national government. A “sister fishing village” project was also discussed as a potential project that may have its pilot implementation in the province. Direct flights between the Bohol-Panglao International Airport (BPIA) and China were raised, considering that China was Bohol’s top-notch tourism market from 2016 to 2020, just before the pandemic hit. Local delicacies such as biko (sticky rice), turon (deep-fried banana rolls), and Chocobao (a chocolate drink made of carabao’s milk) were served to the visiting guests, to their delight.Accompanying Ambassador Huang were Counsellor Zhou Yong, Third Secretary Kan Shilai, and Mr. Hong Jie, while Governor Aumentado was accompanied by Chief of Staff Atty. Antonio Amora, Bohol Tourism Office Head Josephine Cabarrus, Provincial Agriculture Office Assistant Head Dr. Larry Pamugas, DepEd Bohol Division Superintendent Dr. Bianito Dagatan, and Executive Assistant for International Affairs Metodio Maraguinot Jr.