MANILA A survey by the Social Weather Station (SWS) showing a neutral trust rating given by Filipinos to China came as no surprise, a Malacanang official said on Friday.
That does not come as a surprise. It is because we only started our close relationship with People's Republic of China under the administration of President (Rodrigo) Duterte, Roque said in a press briefing in Tarlac.
According to the SWS survey, more Filipinos have expressed much trust in the United States, Canada and Japan while showing a neutral stance towards China.
Roque said the Philippines wanted to trust China but it would be up to the Chinese people to win the Filipinos' trust while Duterte is expanding friendly ties with China amid the West Philippine Sea (WPS) dispute.
We want to trust China but China must also prove herself to be trustworthy, Roque said.
He said China has promised to bring in more capitals and business as well as tourists which happened in 2017 when influx of Chinese tourists increased by nearly 40 percent or 810,807 tourists compared to 2016.
If they will fulfill the promises, if we will not have conflict because of WPS, if they will not reclaim and build new artificial islands, the Filipinos prefer to become friends instead of enemies, Roque explained.
Roque, however, described as good the Filipinos' neutral trust given to China.
On the other hand, Roque said the highest trust rating that Filipinos gave to US and Japan was expected because of our long and established relationship with these countries.
The Americans and Japanese have been our traditional allies. It is only proper that our people trusted them, he said.
The survey revealed that US got a highest +68 net trust rating followed by Canada with +55 percent and Japan at +54.
China, meanwhile, was among the four countries with neutral net trust rating at +7.
Others were Myanmar at +8, Cambodia at +7, and Laos at +3.
Source: Philippine News Agency