President Benigno S. Aquino III confers the 2012 Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan Award to Teofilo Garcia during the awarding ceremonies at the Heroes Hall, Malacañan Palace on Thursday (November 08). Garcia, a tabungaw or gourd casque maker from San Quintin, Abra, was cited for his efforts in keeping the traditional tabungaw making alive and vibrant. The National Living Treasures Award is the highest award given to traditional artists by the Philippine Government. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Nov 8 (Mabuhay) — Malacañang hopes for stronger relations with the U.S. and China after both countries recently had their respective political exercises aimed at choosing new leaders.

“Let’s wait and see. We certainly hope for a warming of the relations, but let’s wait and see for them to settle down,” Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a press conference in Malacañang on Thursday.

Reporters asked Lacierda about the Palace’s expectations now that Americans have re-elected President Barack Obama and China have chosen Vice President Xi Jinping as its new leader.

In the case of China, he said it is too early to say what the effect on Philippine-China relations would be since it takes a year for the whole transition to complete.

Hu is set to begin handing over power to his successor, Vice President Xi. Hu is transferring power to Xi after a decade in office.

China is currently the world’s second-biggest economy and closing fast on the US. Among China’s major challenges include the widening gap between rich and poor, rising unrest about issues like pollution and land seizures, and a slowing economy that needs reform.

The new leadership will also face several other contentious issues like food safety, health care and law enforcement.

In the US, President Obama won a second term in office on Wednesday and will return to Washington to address the chronic federal deficit and debt of the US..

Obama said he intends to work with America’s top political leaders reiterating his commitment to finding bipartisan solutions to reduce the country’s deficit, cut taxes for middle class families and small businesses and create jobs. (MNS)