Duterte again thanks China for contributions to PH economy
Speaking before Filipino-Chinese businessmen, President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday again trumpeted China’s contributions to the Philippine economy.
“I would like to thank China, China along with us… they initially promised P10 billion in investments, where in the world can you find that? China promised to build two buildings dito sa Manila, libre (here in Manila for free),” Duterte said at the 31st Biennial Convention of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII) in Pasay City.
The Philippines and China have been engaged in a territorial dispute over islands in the South China Sea. Duterte’s pivot to the Asian superpower, however, has resulted in the tempering of ties between the two nations.
“I went to China and said, Sir (Chinese president) Xi Jinping I am here to shake your hand, I am not asking for anything, I just want to trade with you because your foreign policy seems to be a dovetail of what America is, so I said, I will adapt, a non-aligned foreign policy, but I would like to trade with you, and please help us,”
He said that now, the Philippines is “getting a relief from our hardships, because a lot of money is coming in.”
He noted that China greatly boosted the Philippines’ export of agricultural products as the export of bananas has doubled, while the export pineapple has increased by 50 percent.
“China says, ‘you sell to us what you have in your country, we will teach you how to improve quality before sending them here. We are opening the floodgates of our country in importation, for trade,’” Duterte said.
Duterte is set to visit China again for the One Belt, One Road summit that will be held in May.
“I’m going there, I was invited by the President himself, ‘yung (for) the One Belt, One Road. It’s a very ambitious project of China,” he said.
The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road or One Belt, One Road is a development strategy and framework, proposed by Chinese Xi that focuses on connectivity and cooperation between China and other countries in Asia and Europe. IDL
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