Palace: Philippines among nations friendliest to China
Louis Bacani (The Philippine Star) - September 17, 2014 - 2:38pm

MANILA, Philippines - Despite the recent criminal activities that victimized Chinese nationals here, the Philippines remains to be among the countries friendliest to the Asian giant, Malacañang said on Wednesday.

"Are we Filipinos focusing or targeting Chinese? Of course not. We are one of the most, if not the most, friendly country in respect of our Chinese brethren," Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a televised press briefing.

"We have not seen any discrimination, we have not seen any form of hostility towards our Filipino-Chinese or the mainland Chinese who are here," he added.

Lacierda was reacting to an editorial published by Global Times, a Chinese state-run newspaper, which criticized the Philippines over "the spate of incidents targeting the Chinese over the past week" that may be correlated to the territorial dispute between Beijing and Manila.

The editorial also urged President Benigno Aquino III to make a public apology for the "serial attacks" on Chinese citizens and severely reprimand the criminals.

Lacierda said it was unfair for the newspaper to politicize the issue since Chinese nationals in other countries may also be victims of criminal activities.

"Everybody knows that some of these things happen, not only in our country but also in other countries. I don't think its proper for them to put a political spin. It happens every day," Lacierda said.

He said the Philippines government will deal with the criminals that victimized Chinese nationals here as an "ordinary law enforcement issue" with no political color.

Aquino and officials from both the Philippines and China had said that the South China Sea dispute is not the sum total of the bilateral relations of the two nations.

AQUINO BEIJING AND MANILA CHINESE GLOBAL TIMES LACIERDA PHILIPPINES AND CHINA PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON EDWIN LACIERDA SOUTH CHINA SEA
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