MANILA – The Philippines should look at China as a “partner” and not a “threat,” the former President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said on Friday.
Arroyo made the comment following the criticisms against Chinese infrastructure investment in the country.
Members of the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives earlier claimed the loan agreements with China will not benefit the Philippines.
During the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference in Hainan, China, the Pampanga congresswoman said China is poised to become the “world’s leading economy” and that developing countries like the Philippines should “further boost their ties” with Beijing.
“China is in a class of its own, and now, 40 years later under the presidency of Xi Jinping, it has become a partner in development. China, for us in the developing countries, is a market, a donor and a provider of capital and technology,â€ she added.
According to her, the Philippines benefits from China as it is former’s top trading partner for agricultural products.
She also noted the assistance the country gets from China for major public construction projects.
â€œFor instance, China has built bridges in the Philippines, it is building a dam for a water system and irrigation, and it will be building a major railroad,” Arroyo said.
With this, the ex-President underscored that the Philippines must see its relationship with China as a “win-win solution.”
“So what I can say is that Chinaâ€™s effort in opening up has really been a boost for the economies of the world, especially the developing economies. The world should look at Chinaâ€™s rise as an opportunity rather than a threat,â€ she added.