'We don't make knee jerk reactions': Palace mum on Pelosi Taiwan visit

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 03 2022 04:05 PM | Updated as of Aug 03 2022 04:26 PM

A handout photo made available by the Taiwan Presidential office shows US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (L) making her speech as Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen looks on during their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Taipei, Taiwan, Aug. 3, 2022. Pelosi, the highest ranking US official to visit the island in 25 years, began her visit in Taiwan despite strong warnings of military action from China against the visit. Taiwan Presidential Palace handout/EPA-EFE 
A handout photo made available by the Taiwan Presidential office shows US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (L) making her speech as Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen looks on during their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Taipei, Taiwan, Aug. 3, 2022. Pelosi, the highest ranking US official to visit the island in 25 years, began her visit in Taiwan despite strong warnings of military action from China against the visit. Taiwan Presidential Palace handout/EPA-EFE 


MANILA — The Philippines refrains from making "knee-jerk reactions" that could affect international relations, Malacañang said on Wednesday, as it refused to comment on US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan that enraged China. 

Pelosi landed in Taiwan on Tuesday despite threats from Beijing, which views the island as its territory. Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian on the same day urged Manila to "abide by the one-China principle and handle all Taiwan-related issues with prudence." 

The Palace has "no reaction" to the ambassador's statement and will instead "take our cue" from the Department of Foreign Affairs, said Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles. 

"Usually, when there's matter of international relations, we take time to study the matter and do not react immediately. Loose words might affect relationships and very difficult to rebuild," Cruz-Angeles said in a press briefing.

"We don't make knee-jerk reactions because it would adversely affect international relations," she added. 

The DFA and the military are "closely monitoring the situation," said the Palace official. 

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China has responded to Pelosi's visit by warning the US ambassador in Beijing of "extremely serious consequences" and announcing military drills in seas around Taiwan -- some of the world's busiest waterways. 

Pelosi, second in line to the presidency, is the highest-profile elected US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years.

The administration of President Joe Biden said in the run-up to the visit that US policy towards Taiwan remained unchanged. 

This means support for its government while diplomatically recognizing Beijing over Taipei, and opposing a formal independence declaration by Taiwan or a forceful takeover by China.

While the White House is understood to be opposed to Pelosi's Taiwan stop, its National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said she was entitled to go where she pleased. 

China on Wednesday announced curbs on the import of fruit and fish from Taiwan -- citing the detection of pesticide residue and the coronavirus. It also halted shipments of sand to the island.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi vowed to punish those who offend Beijing. 

"This is a complete farce. The United States is violating China's sovereignty under the guise of so-called 'democracy'... those who offend China will be punished," he said.

— With a report from Agence France-Presse