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China, Taiwan deny being source of drugs in Philippines

Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua said that Beijing will continue to support President Rodrigo Duterte's campaign against the illegal drug trade. Presidential Photo/Simeon Celi Jr.

MANILA, Philippines — In response to President Rodrigo Duterte's recent pronouncements, both China and Taiwan stressed that they have been working with Philippine authorities against the illegal drug trade.

On Tuesday, Duterte claimed that the country is now a client state of the "Bamboo triad," a criminal group based in Taiwan. Client state is a term in international relations that is more commonly used to mean a nation that is dependent on an economically, politically or militarily more powerful state.  

The president also claimed that the Taiwan-based syndicate has taken over the operations of the Chinese syndicates.

READ: Duterte says Philippines a drug transshipment point of notorious Bamboo triad

Countering Duterte's claim, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) said that Taiwan has been working with the Philippines in its fight against illegal drugs for years.

"Taiwan had never been the source of illegal drugs entering the country," the TECO said in a statement.

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The TECO added that Taiwan will continue to work with Philippine authorities to enhance cooperation and eliminate transnational drug trafficking.

China: 'There are some really bad Chinese'

The Chinese Embassy in Manila, meanwhile, admitted that some Chinese nationals may be involved in the illegal drug trade.

"The president may be right in pointing out there are some really bad Chinese who are doing the illegal drug but Chinese government policy is very firm," Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua said in a television interview.

RELATED: China Anti-Smuggling Bureau: No Filipinos involved in P6.4-B drug shipment

The Chinese envoy vowed that Beijing will not protect its nationals who are involved in the illegal drug trade.

"We do not know much about the syndicates or the drug rings that are operating in the Philippines. China will not protect its nationals who have committed crimes in the Philippines. They need to be punished in accordance with Filipino law," Zhao said.

Zhao added that China will continue to support Duterte's campaign against illegal drugs, as well as drug-related criminal acts.

Duterte's son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, and son-in-law, lawyer Mans Carpio, are allegedly involved in the shipment of shabu worth P6.4 shipment from China. The Senate blue ribbon committee is currently looking into the alleged links of the younger Duterte and Carpio with the drug smuggling.

RELATED: Trillanes confident of evidence vs Paolo Duterte, Mans Carpio

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