By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, along with other officers of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) said she had a “valuable” meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during the recently concluded BFA Annual Convention in Hainan, China.
The former President cited that their discussion with Li zeroed in on the direction China is taking on its 40th year of reforms and its ties with the rest of the world.
Li’s meeting with the BFA officers, including Arroyo as a member of the Board, was one of the highlights of the BFA Annual Conference 2019.
The BFA gathers leaders in government, business and academic institutions throughout Asia to share their thoughts on the most pressing issues in the region and the world.
Arroyo, who is on her second year as a member of the Board of the BFA, hailed China’s leadership in promoting the Belt and Road Initiative or the “Globalization V.2” which aims to foster cooperation and development.
She cited the current Chinese leadership’s implementation of Deng Xiaoping’s socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Arroyo attributed China’s remarkable growth, particularly during the past two decades to “its own model of development using your own historical experience.”
She noted that China showed that no development model can be applied universally and that the diversity of historical conditions determines the development paths that countries could take.
“China has given us the lesson that there is just not one path for development because prior to China’s experience, it was thought that the only way to development is the Western style model of Jeffersonian democracy and coupled with a free market,” Arroyo said.
“But China has shown the world that you can have your own model of development using your own historical experience, especially China in the last 40 years. Since the opening of China 40 years ago, it has transformed itself, it is the world’s leading growth, unmatched in history, 400 million people lifted out from poverty. China is on the verge of becoming the largest economy in the world,” she said.