A Makabayan solon and the Department of National Defense (DND) separately condemned an alleged threat made by Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian against Filipinos in Taiwan.
House of Representative Deputy Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Party Rep. France Castro said Huang’s statement is a threat and an imposition on a sovereign country.
“It is condemnable that China seems to be issuing a threat not just against the Philippines as a country but to innocent overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were obligated to work abroad to create better lives for their families,” Castro said in a statement Saturday, April 15.
In a public speech Friday, the Chinese envoy said, the “Philippines is advised to unequivocally oppose Taiwan independence rather than stoking the fire by offering the US access to the military bases near the Taiwan Strait if you care genuinely about the 150,000 OFWs.”
“The Taiwan question is entirely China’s internal affair, as is the Mindanao issue to the Philippines. You will never allow any third party to meddle with resolving rebel issues in Mindanao,” Huang said.
This did not sit well with the progressive solon who said Huang’s statement must be condemned.
The DND in a separate statement took exception to Huang’s assertion the Philippines is “meddling” in Chinese internal affairs concerning Taiwan.
DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said the Philippines’ primary concern regarding the heated situation between China and Taiwan are the expatriate Filipinos in the island.
Pique at new EDCA sites
While it appears to directly threaten Filipino workers in Taiwan, Huang’s speech was in fact obviously directed at the Philippine government’s decision to open four new military sites the for United States military to be closer to China.
“Obviously, the US intends to take advantage of the new EDCA sites to interfere in the situation across the Taiwan strait to serve its geopolitical goals, and advance its anti-China agenda at the expense of peace and development of the Philippines and the region at large,” Huang said.
The Chinese Ambassador also likened the situation in Taiwan to Mindanao, implying that China does not meddle with Moro independence struggles in Southern Philippines. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)