The Philippines started diplomatic relations with the ruling Government of China in 1946. Direct diplomatic relations began with the establishment in March 1948 of the Philippine Legation in Nanjing, then the capital of China. Philippine Consulates General in Shanghai and Xiamen were opened in 1947.
The former Philippine Consulate General in Xiamen was located in the island of Gulangyu, an islet adjacent to the southwest coast of the main island of Xiamen and is about 5 minutes away by ferry boat. At that time, there were 13 other Consulates General in Gulangyu, including those of the United States, Great Britain, Holland (now The Netherlands), France, Japan, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Norway, Denmark, Belgium and Sweden.
All Philippine Foreign Service posts, however, were closed in 1949 after the founding of the People's Republic of China. When the Nationalist Kuomintang government withdrew to Taiwan Island that same year, the Philippine Legation followed. On 15 March 1956, the Embassy of the Philippines in Taipei, Taiwan was formally opened.
No official contact was made with the government of the People's Republic of China until 09 June 1975 when the Philippines broke relations with the Republic of China (Taiwan) and established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China with the signing of a Joint Communiqué between the two countries. Then President Ferdinand E. Marcos and former Chinese State Council Premier Zhou Enlai signed the document.
Reestablishment of the Philippine Consulate General in Xiamen
Sometime in 1986, the government of the People's Republic of China initiated, through informal representations with the Office of Asian and Pacific Affairs (ASPAC) of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), a proposal for the establishment of reciprocal consular posts in Xiamen and Cebu. After her visit to China, then President Corazon C. Aquino appointed Mr. Sotero B. Lee as Honorary Consul in Xiamen. The appointment of an Honorary Consul was to prepare for the opening of a permanent consular post in Xiamen.
The Philippine Consulate General in Xiamen was established in January 1995 but full consular operations commenced with the assumption of Consul General Benito B. Valeriano on 15 February 1995. Xiamen PCG formally opened on 28 February 1995 with Philippine Ambassador to China Romualdo A. Ong, Philippine Commercial Attaché to China Agustin Mangila Jr. and officials from Xiamen City and Fujian Province gracing the occasion.
It may be noted that it was upon the urging of Filipino-Chinese businessmen who originated from the provinces of Fujian and Jiangxi that a Philippine Consulate General was re-opened in Xiamen. It was for historical, cultural and economic considerations that the Philippine government eventually established Post. The geographic proximity of Xiamen to the Philippines had encouraged, not only trade, but also a wave of Chinese migration, particularly from southern Fujian province, to seek jobs and business opportunities and eventually settle in the Philippines.
The Evolution of Xiamen PCG's Areas of Consular Jurisdiction
January 1995 to 22 May 1997 - Provinces of Fujian, Guangdong and Hainan
23 May 1997 to 28 August 2003 - Provinces of Fujian, Jiangxi, and Zhejiang
29 August 2003 to present - Provinces of Fujian and Jiangxi
Past and Present Consuls General of Xiamen PCG
Hon. Benito B. Valeriano - 15 February 1995 to 30 January 1996
Hon. Renato L. Villapando - 31 February 1996 to 30 November 1999
Hon. Ma. Corazon Yap-Bahjin - 11 November 1999 to 30 December 2005
Hon. Emelinda Lee-Pineda - 21 February 2006 to 27 July 2008
Hon. Raul S. Hernandez - 14 September 2008 to present