Marcos on congratulating Taiwan president: It’s common courtesy

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
Marcos on congratulating Taiwan president: It�s common courtesy
Taiwan's President-elect Lai Ching-te gestures during a rally outside the headquarters of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in Taipei on January 13, 2024, after winning the presidential election.
AFP / Yasuyoshi Chiba

MANILA, Philippines — Sending a congratulatory message to Taiwanese president-elect Lai Ching-te was an act of courtesy, President Marcos said yesterday after being criticized by China for the gesture.

Marcos spoke on the issue for the first time during an interview with GMA News a week after he congratulated Lai, who has vowed to safeguard the island’s de-facto independence from China.

“When I became President, I received congratulatory messages. So what do you do? It’s just common courtesy that you do the same to them,” Marcos said.

He added that the Philippines continues to adhere to the one-China policy and considers Taiwan its province.

“We have adhered to the one-China policy strictly and conscientiously since we adopted the one-China policy. That has not changed, that will not change,” the President said.

“We do not endorse Taiwan’s independence. Taiwan is a province of China, but the matter that they will be brought together again is an internal matter,” he added.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning earlier said Marcos’ message of congratulation to Lai was “a serious violation of the one-China principle.

“President Marcos gravely violated the one-China principle, went against political commitments to China and interfered in China’s internal affairs,” Mao said.

She also suggested that the Philippine leader “read more” to properly understand the Taiwan issue.

The one-China policy is the diplomatic acknowledgment of the position held by Beijing that there is only a single sovereign state under the name China.

China does not recognize Taiwan’s independence and considers it a renegade province.

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