Philippines needs help from China for modernization, says Erap
(Philstar.com) - August 27, 2015 - 4:17am

MANILA, Philippines — Former President Joseph Estrada on Thursday said the Philippines needs China's help to modernize the country, and expressed his hope that Sino- Philippines relations will improve in the near future.

"The Philippines needs China more than China needs the Philippines," said Estrada, also the current mayor of the city of Manila, during an exclusive interview with Chinese media, including state-run outfit Xinhua.

He said the Philippines's infrastructure construction lagged behind other Asian countries.

This is truer especially in the transportation sector as the country's airport was once rated the worst in Asia and its citizens suffer a lot from inconvenience caused by traffic jams, he added.

"It is necessary for the Philippines to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. I hope China will help us," he said.

Xinhua also reported that Estrada, who paid a state visit to China 15 years ago as the president of the Philippines, will attend China's V-Day celebrations on September 3 in Beijing.

"Our relations will improve," Estrada was quoted as saying. He stressed it is always beneficial to maintain the two countries' long-time friendship. "I'm going to renew the sister city relationship with Beijing."

In April last year, Estrada took a trip to Hong Kong to visit families of victims of the Manila hostage crisis in 2010 and offer compensation for the botched police rescue operation.

Hong Kong, an administrative region of China, then lifted sanctions imposed on the Philippines including the resumption of visa-free access for Filipino officials, resolving the four-year diplomatic dispute. — Philstar.com, based on reports from Xinhua

ASIAN INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT BANK BEIJING CHINA FORMER PRESIDENT JOSEPH ESTRADA HONG KONG IN APRIL PHILIPPINES PHILSTAR QUOT SINO XINHUA
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