FORMER President now Speaker of the House Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo urged Filipinos to consider China as a trading or business partner.
In a statement, Speaker Arroyo said that with China poised to become the world’s leading economy, developing countries including the Philippines should further boost their ties with Beijing.
“China is a partner, not a threat,” she said after attending the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference in Hainan, China.
According to the Speaker, through the years that China has proven wrong the negative notions of its policies towards reform and opening up as it has become a partner in development.
Speaker Arroyo is a member of the Board of BFA, which gathers together leaders in government, business and academic institutions throughout Asia to share their thoughts on the most pressing issues in the region and the world.
She recalled that when she was Trade Undersecretary in the 1980s, when China had just started to open its economy, she often wondered about the role it would play in the global trade setting.
“You know, when China was beginning to develop, about six years into its transformation, I was undersecretary of trade and industry, and we were looking at this economic dragon that was rising in Asia, and we were wondering when China would become a competitor in the world. Little did we know that 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,” Speaker Arroyo said.