WOMEN POWER IN WORLD POLITICS
THE lady representatives in Congress, led by 4th District Rep. Gina de Venecia, sought to help ease the tension brought about by the stand-off between China and the Philippines over claims on the Scarborough Shoal through women power politics.
The Association of Women Legislators Foundation, Inc (AWLFI) headed by De Venecia was in China beginning April 20 for a nine-day goodwill visit at the invitation of the Chinese government.
With De Venecia were Senior Majority Floor Leader Janette Garin, former Deputy Speaker Daisy Avance-Fuentes, and Reps. Josefina Joson, Maria Theresa Bonoan-David, Bai Sandra Sema, Bernadette Herrera-Dy, Mercedes Alvarez, Rachel Marguerite Del Mar, Ana Cristina Go, Linabelle Ruth Villarica, Emmeline Aglipay, Nancy Catamco, Cinchona Cruz-Gonzales and Abigail Faye Ferriol.
De Venecia said the main objective of the trip was to have an exchange of ideas between the women lawmakers of the Philippines and China on the strength and weaknesses of each country relative to women empowerment and livelihood for women.
“When the stand-off at Scarborough shoal happened, we still decided to go, because firstly, we are not at war with China and secondly China is still one of our great allies,” De Venecia said.
The group met Vice Minister Ai Ping of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China where they recalled a declaration of the Philippines and China declaring 2012 and 2013 as “Philippines-China Years of Friendly Exchanges, which includes 36 years of friendly relations since 1975.
During a meeting with Madame Chen Zhili, Vice Chairperson of the Standing Committee on China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) and President of the All-China Federation (ACWF), De Venecia suggested the adoption of the formula of former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, “Mutual Respect, Mutual Benefit.”
“Madame Zhili agreed and replied in Mandarin,” De Venecia told newsmen in Dagupan.
De Venecia said their visit to China served to show the Chinese people that “we have chosen the path of diplomacy in resolving the tension existing between the two countries”.
The group also met Dr. Zhong Ya Ling, a Doctor of Engineering of Chengdu, Sichuan province, from the Sichuan Yalian Technology who developed the technology that could turn coal into gas and produce ethanol from cassava and sweet potato.
Separate meetings were held with Madame Long Jiangwen, vice president of the China Association of Women Entrepreneurs (CAWE), a national organization that serves as a bridge between China’s, and Zhang Lili, chairperson of the Shanghai Women’s Federation and also went on to visit the Children’s Welfare Institute, an orphanage at the Pudong New Area Women Development Center, where women are being given vocational courses.