Teodoro slams Chinese foreign ministry

Michael Punongbayan - The Philippine Star
Teodoro slams Chinese foreign ministry
Gilberto "Gibo" Teodoro Jr. holds his first press briefing as the newly appointed secretary of the Department of National Defense (DND) in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on June 07, 2023.
STAR / Ernie Penaredondo

MANILA, Philippines —  Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro Jr. slammed the spokesperson of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for issuing statements that he said insulted President Marcos and the Filipino people.

“It is unfortunate that the PRC (People’s Republic of China) Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson stooped to such low and gutter level talk – resorting to insulting our President and the Filipino nation, and further debasing herself, the Ministry and Party she represents in the process,” he said in a statement issued late last night.

The Chinese embassy in Manila earlier yesterday singled out Marcos as the only head of state to congratulate Taiwan’s president-elect Lai Ching-te among 182 countries which established diplomatic relations with China.

Furious over the President’s congratulatory message, China again lashed out, saying it sends “erroneous signals to Taiwan independence separatist forces.” The highly undiplomatic comments also warned the Philippines “not to play with fire” and advised Marcos to “read more” on China-Taiwan history.

“But then again, we should not at all be surprised – being a nation and people enjoying the privileges, rights and freedoms of a democratic society – that an agent of a Party and system of government incompatible with our way of life and who routinely spouts state-sanctioned propaganda and disinformation would go that far and that low,” Teodoro said.

The Department of National Defense chief added that such statements and actions are unfortunate “but I am, myself, unsurprised. The spokesperson’s statements were ‘on brand.’ We, and the world, should not expect more,” he stressed.

The Chinese embassy said the President’s remarks on Taiwan election are “at odds” with the one-China principle and contradict the statement of the Philippine government reaffirming its commitment to the one-China policy.

“We urge the Philippine side to earnestly abide by the one-China principle, stop the wrong words and deeds on Taiwan-related issues, prudently and properly handle the Taiwan-related issues,” the embassy said in a statement.

The embassy reiterated that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory and the Chinese government is the sole legal government representing the whole of China.

It emphasized that the one-China principle is the political premise on which China establishes and develops diplomatic relations with 182 countries including the Philippines, a universally recognized basic norm in international relations and a prevailing consensus among the international community.

The Philippines, the embassy said, made a solemn commitment to this in the Joint Communiqué of the Governments of  China and the Philippines.

“Subsequent Philippine administrations have adhered to the one-China policy. Following the elections in Taiwan, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs has issued a statement reaffirming the Philippines’ commitment to the one-China policy,” the embassy added.

“Our message to the Philippine side is clear and consistent. No different positions to DFA or your ambassador or President Marcos,” the embassy demanded.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said the Philippine President’s remarks gravely violate the one-China principle and the communique on the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, seriously go against Manila’s political commitments to China and blatantly interfere in China’s internal affairs.

China summoned on Tuesday Philippine Ambassador to Beijing Jaime FlorCruz to lodge serious demarche and urge the Philippines to present a responsible response.– Pia Lee-Brago, Marc Jayson Cayabyabe

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