China offers to build Clark-Manila railway

Philippine president-elect Rodrigo Duterte (L) shakes hands with the Chinese ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua during a courtesy call in Davao City, in the southern island of Mindanao, the Philippines, May 16, 2016. (AFP Photo)

The much coveted Clark-Manila railway may soon become a reality after China offered to build it in two years.

During a meeting with President-elect Rody Duterte in Davao City, Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jian said his country is capable to build the railway that will finally connect Clark to Metro Manila.

Duterte said the Chinese envoy made the offer quoting Jian as saying “We will do the railway immediately and we will solve your Clark-Manila railway. We’ll use the shortest way.”

Jian told Duterte they have successfully built railways in Africa. The Chinese diplomats are confident thay could do the same in Mindanao and Luzon.

Duterte also wanted a railway from Tutuban, Manila to the Bicol region, and another one from Manila to Batangas.

Duterte had mentioned he would accept such train systems from China in exchange for agreeing to joint exploration of the disputed West Philippine Sea with the Asian economic giant.

Duterte said he wants incoming Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to go to China “not to talk about war, but to talk about peace.”

Mabalacat Mayor Marino “Boking” Morales has welcomed theproposal of the Chinese saying the railway will boost the development of the Clark International Airport.

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