The bible of Philippine politics

PH joint projects with ‘uncle’ China can enhance friendship, cooperation

By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Former President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is confident that the country’s partnership with China would deepen friendship and cooperation despite the dispute in the South China Sea.

“Ako, in general, pabor ako sa mga joint projects eh, because they foster friendship and cooperation,” she said.

Arroyo said she also adopted the same approach when she was still the country’s chief executive.

She noted that Malaysia and Thailand also entered into joint projects despite their respective territorial issues with the Asian superpower.

“Alam mo itong tungkol doon sa conflicting claims, mayroon ding ganun ‘yung Malaysia at saka ‘yung Thailand eh, sa Gulf of Thailand. They pursued their conflicting claims pero may joint projects sila. So, talagang mayroon ng model na ganoon sa buong mundo,” she said.

For Arroyo, leaders of nations with conflicting claims in the South China Sea region should consider themselves as one big family and China as “senior uncle” being economic superpower.

“Yung mga maliliit na bansa. Sa isang pamilya, lahat ng miyembro ng pamilya ay mayroon silang tungkulin para sa ikinabubuti ng pamilya. So yun ang dapat maging attitude ng lahat,” she said.

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