- Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jian met with President-elect Rody Duterte in Davao City last June 2, 2016
- Future partnership between the Philippines and China has been discussed including China’s proposal to build railways from Manila to Clark to ease the metro traffic
- Last Tuesday, in a conference with businessmen, incoming President Rodrigo Duterte told the former that if they can’t beat China’s offer, he will be forced to take China’s goodwill
An offer was made by Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jian to the president elect Duterte about the building of a railway that could stretch from Manila all the way to Clark, Pampanga.
According to Duterte, as he told the businessmen whom he met last Tuesday, that the ambassador told him that they will immediately do the railway and they will be the one to solve the Manila-Clark railway vision. He just wanted to make the people comfortable, he said.
Duterte admitted he does not know how they will do it for sure, but rest assured that once they start with the project they will finish it in two years.
The Chinese is confident about this since according to them, they have successfully done railways in Africa.
He also added that he reminded the Chinese ambassador about his vision for the continuation of the rails from Tutuban, Manila to Bicol, and from Manila to Batangas.
Duterte seems to be very determined to start this project as his legacy as President because reports revealed that he had already sent a representative, Mr. Art Tugade, to go to China to talk about the proposed venture. With the current Ph-China relationship status, it is not that easy to do that. But according to him, he sent these men to talk about peace, not war.
However, critics have reservations about this project since Duterte was strong as he said that he will prioritize building railways in the southern islands most especially Mindanao.
But is China’s offer come with a price for the Filipinos?
Duterte admitted that the talk he had with the Chinese ambassador did not end without discussions about the maritime dispute.
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The Asian economic giant proposed that in exchange of their service in building the railways and finishing it as fast as possible, they would like to have a joint exploration of the disputed West Philippine Sea.
Duterte said he is not yet ready to talk about it.