DEFENSE Secretary Gilbert Teodoro took a swipe at a Chinese foreign ministry official for “insulting” President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. after he congratulated new Taiwan President-elect Lai Ching-Te.
In a statement, Teodoro expressed his disappointment, stating that it is unfortunate for Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning to engage in such "low and gutter-level talk."
“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.
“It is unfortunate, but I am, myself, unsurprised. The spokesperson's statements were 'on brand.' We, and the world, should not expect more,” he added.
On Monday, Marcos congratulated Lai on his social media accounts, expressing that he looks forward to a close collaboration, strengthening mutual interests, fostering peace, and ensuring prosperity for their peoples in the years ahead.
This did not stand well for Beijing, saying that what Marcos did was a serious violation of the One-China policy, maintaining that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory.
Mao urged Marcos to “read more” to develop a “proper understanding of the ins and outs of the Taiwan question and come to a right conclusion.”
The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs reaffirmed the One-China policy, saying that Marcos' remarks were his way of expressing gratitude to Taiwan for hosting overseas Filipino workers and conducting a successful democratic process.
Opposition Senator Aquilino Pimentel III said Marcos should be more careful in issuing statements, especially when it comes to foreign policy.
He said the Philippines should adhere to the One China policy, noting that “actions must match our official positions.” (SunStar Philippines)