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‘Chinese venture on Fuga not risky’


STA. ANA, Cagayan: Officials of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) here allayed fears about the risk of allowing Chinese private investors to develop Fuga Island into a multibillion-dollar Smart City.

The proposed project for Fuga Island is the “One Belt One Road Fuga Island New Smart City,” a master planned $2-billion development that will include a high-technology industrial park and a medical school, according to Sec. Raul Lambino, CEZA administrator and chief executive officer.

He said the Smart City project by Chinese investors on Fuga Island poses no security threat.

“The Chinese investors are developing into a Smart City, including hotels, condominiums, malls, among others, and I don’t see any security threat,” Lambino continued.

Earlier, the Philippine Navy has gone public with concerns over the reported plan by Chinese investors to develop three strategic islands of the Philippines.

These were the islands of Grande and Chiquita that sit in the entrance of Subic Bay, and Fuga located in the Strait of Luzon adjacent to a hub for the Philippines’ underwater communications cables.

However, Lambino said if the Chinese projects involved vessels or factories that would seriously affect the Philippines, “I will definitely oppose it.”

The development projects in these strategic islands are being closely monitored after security concerns were raised due to reports of involvement of Chinese investors in the projects.

These island areas are considered access ways to Scarborough Shoal and other areas in the West Philippine (South China) Sea.

Capt. Jonathan Zata, Navy spokesman, said Fuga Island had strategic significance in controlling access to the strait and that the subsea cables near the island were important for the Philippines’ connectivity.

“If this could not be properly secured this might impact on our capability to get in touch with the rest of the world,” Zata added.

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