Spring Festival promotes China’s One Belt-One Road Initiative

ANGELES CITY — Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (Youxie) and Association for Philippine-China Understanding (APCU) conducted Friday the second leg of their Chinese Spring Festival celebration at SM City Clark.

It featured cultural performances, visual arts, and traditions meant to promote the One Belt-One Road (OBOR) infrastructure initiative of the People’s Republic of China.

Introduced in 2013 by Chinese President Xi Jinping, OBOR seeks to improve understanding, respect and appreciation of the cultures from Belt and Road countries, as well as advancing friendly exchanges between the peoples.

China seeks to build a modern Silk Road by assisting many countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe in building seaports, roads, and railways.

In the Philippines, Former President and current Pampanga 2nd district representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo hailed President Rodrigo Duterte for embracing OBOR.

“This is a parallel platform for the growth of the region. It will be used to stimulate growth and improve market access as it facilitates connectivity and provides funding for the administration’s Build-Build-Build Infrastructure Program,” Arroyo added.

Under the OBOR, China has committed to fund the Subic-Clark Cargo Railway, a Flood Control Project in Metro Manila that will also benefit the town of Obando and city of Meycauayan in Bulacan, Binondo-Intramuros Bridge in Manila, and the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge in Mandaluyong City. It is also looking to fund the Mindanao Railway Project.

Youxie is an agency created by China’s State Council and supervised by the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

It is mandated to promote friendly people-to-people ties between China and other countries through cultural and academic exchange, city sisterhood, visits to and from China, and conferment of Friendship Ambassador title on distinguished friendship personalities.

Youxie has set up ties with nearly 500 non-governmental organizations and agencies in 157 countries.

Its recognized affiliate in Philippines is APCU with the establishment and operations of which predated the forging of diplomatic ties between the Philippines and China.

It was just reactivated last year to enhance the much improved ties between the two countries with Arroyo as National Chairman. It has chapters in Baguio, Cebu, and Davao. –Shane F. Velasco (CLJD/SFV-PIA 3)

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