MANILA Former President and now Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo sees no conflict with the Philippines pursuing friendly relations with both the United States and China, stressing the importance of fostering friendship with the two superpowers.
Arroyo made the statement in her keynote speech at the inauguration of the new building of the Bases Development and Conversion Authority (BCDA) in Clark Global City in Pampanga on Tuesday. A copy of her speech was sent to members of the House media on Wednesday.
"We are friends with China but being friends with China doesn't mean that we are not friends with the United States. There is no conflict in friendship between two important friends," Arroyo said.
Arroyo further explained in a separate interview that "they are both very important to the world and to the region, and our friendship with them is very important to us, and their friendship with each other is also very important to us."
US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim was present during the inauguration, together with Hungarian Ambassador to the Philippines Jozsef Bencze.
Arroyo invited both ambassadors to bring more investments to the Philippines, saying there is plenty of room for both China and the US in the Philippines as far as putting in investments is concerned.
"So there's plenty of room again for more investments and we hope that there would be a lot of new investments coming from the United States Ambassador, from Europe Ambassador, and of course from our Philippine investors. We hope that more people know about the American investments and we also hope that more American investments will come, now that we have this beautiful Clark Global City and the New Clark City as well," she said.
The Speaker also said a big Chinese industrial park and a Chinese Cultural Museum will also be built in the New Clark City as part of a framework agreement signed during the recent state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the Philippines.
A total of 29 agreements signed between the Philippines and China highlighted the first state visit of Xi to Manila.
A memorandum of understanding (MOU) on cooperation on oil and gas development in the West Philippine Sea topped the list of signed bilateral documents in the fields of trade and investment, banking and finance, infrastructure, agriculture, education, culture and people-to-people exchanges.
Other signed deals include cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative; executive program of cultural agreement for 2019-2023; basic education cooperation; information and communications technology; strengthening the building of agricultural cooperatives; infrastructure cooperation program; industrial parks development; certificate of emergency humanitarian cash assistance; promoting cooperation in key infrastructure projects in the Davao region; and certificate of humanitarian cash assistance. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency