Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Wednesday, June 9, predicted that China may soon “become the world’s largest economy”, saying that this is one major reason why a strong Philippines-China relations should be maintained.
In her message during the online celebration of 46th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations Between Philippines and China and the 20th Philippine-China Friendship Day, Arroyo cited five strong reasons why the friendly ties should be strengthened.
The event was sponsored by the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCII). Aside from Arroyo, also invited to grace the virtual celebration were President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese Embassy Charge d’Affaires Minister Counsellor Tan Qingsheng.
Arroyo, a former House of Representatives speaker, initiated the celebration of the Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day in a presidential proclamation she signed while in office.
“Under President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, bilateral ties between the Philippines and China have reached new heights,” she said.
Arroyo said one major reason for maintaining friendly relations between the two countries is “geography.” “The Philippines and China located within each other’s backyards so to speak so good relations between neighbors is always a priority,” she said.
“Second major reason is that China is involved not only in bilateral dealings but also collectively such as through Asean,” the former chief executive said.
According to her China’s economy “remains the most dynamic and fastest growing” among the big nations in the world, adding that “soonit may become the world’s largest economy.”
“A fourth factor is that infrastructure will continue to be an important factor for the Philippines in the coming years. And there is no country in that world that matches China’s recent track record and capability in this area,” noted Arroyo.
. She said: “A fifth factor is that domestically, the Philippines has a vibrant Filipino-Chinese community for whom business dealings with China are natural. We have the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce as a testament to this.”
The former president recalled that it was during his term as president that the relations between the two countries “entered a golden age.”
“The continuing friendship between our two peoples enhances the mutually beneficial relations between our two countries and contributes to the peace and harmony in the Asia-Pacific region,” she said.
Arroyo also cited the FFCCII for being the “moving force on the private sector side” that not only boosted “cooperation in trade, tourism and investments with China, but more importantly to spread friendship, understanding and the goal of mutual economic progress that have bound our two peoples together.”