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PIA Press Release
2007/10/05

Commentary: All is well between China, RP even after ZTE deal cancellation

Tacloban City (October 5) -- All is well between China and the Philippines even after President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo cancelled the National Broadband Network project with China's ZTE Corporation.

The Chinese Government remains committed to closer ties with the Philippines and this friendly gesture pervaded during the bilateral talks between President Arroyo and Chinese President Hu Jintao.

President Arroyo, on Tuesday, decided to cancel the NBN Project because of the continuing controversy it has created and the refusal of some sectors to understand the importance of the cyber project.

It is gratifying to note President Hu's expression of understanding when the President informed him of the difficult decision she had to make.

He said that the Philippine-Chinese relations remain in good shape and that the Philippines will continue to be a great ally. The NBN broadband issue is not a concern at all and Chinese businessmen are still upbeat on investing in the Philippines.

Good evidence is the fact that the Trade and Industry Secretary Peter Favila and his Chinese counterpart are now working on a five-year economic development plan with the hope of coming up with an agreement for better cooperation without similar controversy created by the broadband project.

President Arroyo described China as the fastest growing economy not only in the region but in the whole world as well and the Philippines sees China's economic rise as a significant opportunity for the Philippines.

The agreement for ZTE contract is not a consummated contract and has no loan agreement. This is an executive agreement, not yet fully completed and has to go through the normal, legal procedure.

The Senate hearing has been sidestepped by the cancellation of the ZTE deal, and by the resignation of former COMELEC Commissioner Abalos who is one of the principal resource persons.

A continuation of the hearing would divulge that it's not just the contract that they're looking into, they are dragging politics into the picture. (PIA 8) [top]

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