MANILA – Environment Secretary Gina Lopez on Saturday warned Chinese mining operators in the country that they would be sent home if they don’t comply with environmental safety standards.
Lopez has suspended five mining companies since assuming office two weeks ago. Mining operations in Zambales, where four of the shuttered mines are located, are known to export to the Chinese mainland.
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“If they don’t get their act together, I’ll tell them go home,” Lopez told DZMM.
“Our people’s well being is more important than the money you make. If you want your money, go home bye bye,” she said.
Lopez also weighed in on the destruction of corals in the disputed South China Sea by the Chinese.
She said Chinese culture was “essentially very spiritual” but was now more focused on making profit.
“They’ve become very materialistic. All they think of is money and they’re bullies, and its not good at all,” she said.
This week, a United Nations-backed court ruled that Manila could exploit resources in South China Sea waters held by China and said Beijing’s vast claims to the waters was baseless.