Just over a year after she vacated the post, veteran Philippine diplomat Sonia Brady has been reappointed as the country's ambassador to China.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III renamed Sonia Brady - who served as ambassador in Beijing from 2006 to 2010, and as secretary and consul from 1976 to 1978 - to the post amid lingering strained relations between the two countries over the Huangyan Island standoff.
Deputy presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte made the announcement on Saturday, three days after Aquino signed Brady's appointment, according to the Xinhua News Agency.
The 70-year-old career envoy was one of the first Philippine diplomats to be posted to China after the two countries established relations in 1975, and has greatly contributed to the development of relations, Xinhua reported.
When former Philippine ambassador to China Francisco Benedicto resigned in February last year, Aquino originally named businessman Domingo Lee as his successor. This was met by opposition from the Congress, which refused to approve the posting several times, saying Lee was inexperienced.
"She is a career diplomat," Valte said of Brady, who still needs Congress approval before she can take up her post.
Aquino told reporters earlier that he wanted someone "mature" and "patient" for the "very sensitive post."
"The new ambassador to China should know the operating systems in Asia and not be influenced by the West," Teresita Ang See, a Chinese-Filipino researcher, was quoted as saying in the 21st Century Business Herald.
The countries became entangled in a row over Huangyan Island, when Philippine warships in April tried to arrest Chinese fishermen but were stopped by Chinese surveillance ships in waters nearby the island in the South China Sea.
The meteorological bureau in Hainan Province recently began issuing weather forecasts for Huangyan Island, Yongxing Island and Yongshu Reef, in a bid to "help ensure the safety of passing vessels and offshore production."
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