Envoy won’t want strained PH-China ties to be highlight of career — Romualdez

/ 03:25 PM June 24, 2024

Envoy won’t want West Philippine Sea issue to be career highlight — Romualdez

In this handout photo from the Presidential Communications Office, Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos Jr (C) meets with Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian (2nd L) at the Malacanang Palace in Manila on February 14, 2023, to address the incident between Chinese Coast Guard and Philippine Coast Guard in South China Sea. FILE PHOTO/Agence France-Presse

MANILA, Philippines — The Chinese ambassador to the Philippines would not want strained relations between the two countries to be the highlight of his career, House of Representatives Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said on Monday.

Romualdez said this as he urged Ambassador Huang Xilian to try repairing the Philippine-Chinese ties, which have been affected by rising tensions in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

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“I actually had some words that I will share.  I just told the ambassador from China to the Philippines, maybe he doesn’t want it to happen that under his watch, he saw that the relationship with the Philippines went from good relations to not so good relations, that it will deteriorate,” Romualdez said after relaying that he was able to talk to Huang.

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READ: China’s actions in Ayungin Shoal not an armed attack – Palace 

“It doesn’t look good that on his watch, this happened.  That’s why he should exert all the effort as the representative, the official representative of China to the Philippines,” he added.

As to proposals about expelling Huang, Romualdez said this is an option — but he does not want to preempt President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s prerogative.

“Those are all options and as I said, I will always stand by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s decision and his prerogatives.  Let us let him take the lead. I don’t want to preempt him,” Romualdez said when asked about the latest push asking for the Chinese envoy’s expulsion.

“Although those are very, very viable or possible options,” he added.

Romualdez earlier revealed that he had the chance to talk to Huang, conveying the country’s concerns over the aggressive nature of Chinese maritime forces in the WPS.

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READ: West Philippine Sea: Romualdez wants China, PH to focus on commonalities

The Speaker said this after being asked about China’s aggressive actions in the WPS after a Philippine Navy sailor suffered a cut on his finger when members of China’s maritime force boarded a Philippine inflatable boat last June 17.

According to the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea, Chinese ships also rammed and towed the Philippine vessels — causing damage and endangering the lives of Filipino sailors.

Chinese forces also reportedly seized the firearms of the Philippine military members.

The Navy personnel were providing assistance to the rotation and resupply (Rore) mission to BRP Sierra Madre, which ran aground at Ayungin Shoal. Troops are stationed at the Philippine Navy vessel.

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But last Friday, Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin said the incident over Ayungin Shoal may have only just been a misunderstanding, refusing to classify the aggressive actions as an armed attack.

For comprehensive coverage, in-depth analysis, and the latest updates on the West Philippine Sea issue, visit our special site here. Stay informed with articles, videos, and expert opinions.

TAGS: China, West Philippine Sea

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