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Chinese envoy confident of Northrail’s second life under Noynoy gov’t By Michaela del Callar 05/31/2010

Monday, May 31, 2010

Chinese envoy confident of Northrail’s second life under Noynoy gov’t

By Michaela del Callar

Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Liu Jianchao’s meeting with presumptive President-apparent Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino was more than just the Spratlys, as Liu yesterday con-firmed their dis-cussion also centered on business, with China expressing hopes its deal for the rehabilitation and construction of the $503-million Northrail project would find a second life under an Aquino administration.

Both camps earlier had claimed the meat of their talks focused on the two countries’ continuing cooperation despite the thorny issue of their respective claims to the Spratlys Islands. But it turned out to be more than just that with Liu now admitting China will once again push the controversial project which was among the questionable deals entered into by Gloria Arroyo with a Chinese construction firm.

Government could not proceed with the construction of the railway due to a pending case in the Supreme Court, seeking for the annulment of the multi-million dollar contract.

“We talked about that (Northrail project) and we carry on with our productive cooperation on all things. On
Northrail, I think we can work on that as well. I’m more than optimistic about that,” Liu said.

The Northrail project aims to rehabilitate the old Philippine National Railway’s north line, an estimated 80.2-kilometer railroad project that will link Metro Manila to Clark Field in Pampanga.

Liu said the prolonged delay in the construction of the Northrail will cost the government and the Chinese contractor more money.

The Chinese ambassador stressed the importance of the immediate resumption of work, saying the fast completion of the North Rail will be “very good for the Philippines and the people” living in Metro Manila as it would ease the capital’s traffic woes..... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100531hed3.html

1 comment

Anonymous said...

Progress in the Philippines, but More Needed

¶19. (S) Seeing poverty as the key challenge facing the
Philippines, China has invested in its agricultural
development and transportation infrastructure, DG Hu
underlined. Beijing recognizes corruption as the second
significant problem facing the Philippines, but believes it
"cannot do much about that," DG Hu said. Beijing sees
President Gloria Arroyo as a good leader because she has
shown that "she is in control." DAS John agreed President
Arroyo has stabilized Philippine leadership and enacted
strong fiscal and economic policy, but stressed that Beijing
and Washington must encourage Manila to continue working hard
to promote transparency and good governance. John also
outlined the extremely successful approach to
counterterrorism the GRP has taken in Mindanao, with the
support of the United States. DG Hu assessed that, while
"working from different directions," United States and
Chinese efforts in the Philippines are complementary.

The above is a portion of the leaked secret embassy cables. The same discussion took place within the time period. Be that as it may, it is corruption that puts friction on potential investors.

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