Palace hopes more Pinoys will warm up to China

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 08 2019 08:39 PM | Updated as of Apr 08 2019 09:44 PM

Palace hopes more Pinoys will warm up to China 1
A child holds national flags of China and the Philippines before President Rodrigo Duterte and China President Xi Jinping attend a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, October 20, 2016. Thomas Peter, Reuters/File

MANILA - Malacañang on Monday blasted a recent survey which revealed that 4 out of 10 Filipinos don't believe that Beijing's intentions for the Philippines is good for Filipinos.

Branding the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey as "political propaganda," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo expressed hopes that more Filipinos would appreciate Manila's ties with Beijing once they see "positive" effects on the economy.

"We are seeing that there would be a change of hearts and minds from those undecided and even those who disagree -- whom we believe are used to the United States as our long-standing ally - once our enhanced ties with China start to yield positive economic results," Panelo said in a statement.

Panelo also noted that the survey results show that "the President’s ardent critics and detractors have become desperate in employing its anti-China card against the Duterte administration."

The SWS survey, conducted in December 2018, found that 44 percent of Filipino adults disagreed with the statement: “Most of what the Chinese government wants to happen in the Philippines is good for the Filipinos.”

Of the said figure, 22 percent "strongly disagree" while the other half "somewhat disagree," SWS said.

The survey results were released amid concerns about the surge of Chinese workers in the Philippines, and Manila's loans to Beijing amid the 2 nations' long-standing dispute in the South China Sea

The Philippines won a ruling from a UN-backed tribunal which invalidates China's sweeping 9-dash line claim over the disputed waters. China however, has refused to recognize the ruling. 

Ties between the Philippines and China, however, have warmed up under President Rodrigo Duterte who has chosen to set aside Manila's arbitral victory in exchange for a closer relationship with Asia's largest economy.

Panelo added that Filipinos must understand that the President's move to diversify Manila's allies is "intended not for any foreign race or nationality but for the sole benefit of the Filipino people."