Poe Denies She Is Advocating an Arms Race with China

Manila Bulletin, April 8, 2016 | Go to article overview

Poe Denies She Is Advocating an Arms Race with China


CALACA, BATANGAS--Presidential aspirant Senator Grace Poe yesterday rejected insinuations she would be advocating an arms race against China should she get elected in the May 2016 elections.

Compared to the current Aquino administration, Poe said her administration's foreign policy would be "more accommodating" when dealing with other countries, particularly allies and neighboring countries especially in the Southeast Asian region.

"I think compared to this administration, I would be more accommodating when it comes to talks with other countries, particularly on other aspects like economic, cultural and education," Poe told a foreign journalist who covered her political rally in this province.

Should she become the next leader, Poe said resolving the issue on the West Philippine Sea and how to enrich its ties with China without giving up its territorial sovereignty over the disputed maritime zones and islands would be her utmost priority.

Part of this plan, she said is "to hopefully force" the international tribunal to fast track its decision on the arbitration case the Philippines has filed against China in connection to the territorial dispute.

"But I think it is important to maintain good relations with China. And as president that is also going to be one of my priorities. We are neighbors after all. We don't see eye to eye on certain issues but I think it would be for the benefit for the region for us to all to get along," Poe said.

"But as president, I would always, always, promote the welfare of my countrymen. First and foremost--and if it means bridging the gaps between the two countries, I will do it," she said.

But definitely, she said advocating an arms race against an economic giant like China is far from her mind since such move would be useless. …

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