MANILA, Philippines - When the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) extended the visa-free privilege of foreigners last Monday, Chinese nationals criticized the move for excluding them.
Zhuang Guotu, dean of the Research School of Southeast Asian Studies at Xiamen University claimed that the visa requirement for Chinese is Philippines' way to get even on the South China Sea territorial row.
"Both the Chinese mainland and Taiwan are embroiled in disputes with the country. Its decision to exclude people from the two regions is a retaliatory move, especially, against Taiwan," Godu told The Global Times on Wednesday.
DFA extended the 21-day visa-free privilege of 151 countries to 30 days--a list which has not included China and Taiwan since 2010.
The Philippines is also barring Taiwanese from the privilege as Taiwan already sanctioned a red travel alert against Manila over the May 9 shooting incident of a Taiwanese fisherman off Batanes.
"This is a tit-for-tat response to Taiwan's sanctions and Manila wanted to show they would not give in to pressure," Zhuang said.
However, China mainland residents with Australian, Japanese, Canadian, Schengen or US visas coming to the country for tourism purposes can stay without a visa for seven days.
The Global Times reported that Chinese netizens reacted negatively to the latest move by the country, which they say is likening itself to the US."
"This has also angered Chinese social media Net users, with many even calling for a boycott on visiting the Philippines," the article says.