MANILA, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Former Philippine President Gloria Arroyo said that China is not a rival but an investor and a huge market to the Philippines, local media reported.
In an interview with a local television station on Monday, Arroyo lauded the policy of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte towards China.
"When I was president, I focused on developing closer economic and business ties with China. That is the policy of President Duterte today, very similar to mine," Arroyo said.
Arroyo, who was president of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010, is a member of the House of Representatives.
She said Duterte's decision to maintain warm relations with China will benefit the Philippines.
"We see that China is not a rival. It is a market, an investor (and) a donor," Arroyo said.
In 2017, China was the Philippines' top trading partner and the second largest source of tourists.