MANILA, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- On the eve of the Chinese New Year, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday expressed his wish for a stronger sense of solidarity and goodwill between Filipinos and Chinese in the country.
In his Chinese Lunar New Year message, Duterte also wished that 2018 brings "more opportunities for growth and success to all."
"I join the Chinese-Filipino community in celebrating the Lunar New Year," Duterte said.
He said the Philippines "shares a long and colorful history with the Chinese."
"This enduring friendship has contributed to our rich culture, stimulated trade between our nations, and fortified the foundation of our continuing quest for economic development," Duterte said.
"As an integral component of Philippine society," Duterte said, "Chinese-Filipinos will continue to play an important role in shaping our national identity and in upholding the beauty of diversity in our respective cultures."
"Let the joy of this occasion strengthen our sense of solidarity and goodwill as a single nation committed to the preservation of our unique and multi-faceted Filipino heritage," Duterte said.
The Philippines observes the Chinese New Year as a special non-working holiday on Friday.