Palace says closely monitoring China-Taiwan row

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 05 2022 07:02 PM

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. EPA-EFE/File
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. EPA-EFE/File

MANILA — The Philippine government is closely monitoring the developments in Taiwan as tensions continue to mount after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit that angered China.

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. did not tackle the tensions in the East Asian country during his Cabinet meeting earlier in the day.

When asked whether the President has a directive for the safety of Filipinos in Taiwan should the tensions escalate, Cruz-Angeles said, “Kapag ukol sa international relations parati po tayong nag-iingat. Ngunit suffice it to say na mino-monitor po nang matindi ang sitwasyon. Wala po tayong reaksyon o statement ukol dun."

(We are always careful when it comes to international relations. Suffice to say we are monitoring closely the situation. We do not have any reaction or statement on that.)

“Sa ngayon mino-monitor natin ang sitwasyon, so magre-react na lang po tayo matapos ang masusing pag-aaral at saka subject to the info that we get from that monitoring," she added. 

(Right now, we are monitoring our situation so we will just react after we study the matter carefully.) 

Marcos, she said, will not issue his insights on the matter for now. 

"Tignan po natin kung ano yung pangyayari, nag-iingat po tayo dito sa mga ganitong klaseng sitwasyon."

(Let us see what will happen. We are being careful with these types of situation.)

The Palace earlier said the Philippine is adhering to the One China policy. This, following Chinese Amb. Huang Xilian's statement telling Manila that it should abide by the policy. 

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) also echoed the Palace's position. 

Under the One-China policy, Beijing regards Taiwan as part of its territory despite the island asserting it is a self-governing entity.

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Tensions flared between Taiwan, China, and the United States after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island despite strong opposition from Beijing. 

The visit also prompted China to promise "punishment," announcing military drills in the seas around Taiwan — some of the world's busiest waterways.

BLINKEN VISIT

Meanwhile, Cruz-Angeles said there is no published agenda yet between the meeting of Marcos and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday. 

US State Department spokesperson Ned Price earlier said Marcos and Blinken were poised to discuss both countries' "increased cooperation on energy, trade, and investment, advancing our shared democratic values, and pandemic recovery."

Security analyst Chester Cabalza said the Philippines should be prepared for China's possible "forcible retake of Taiwan," saying Manila will be a possible "buffer zone" of Beijing. 

"The Philippines and Taiwan will become a strategic bullseye for these superpowers basically," said Cabalza. — with a report from Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News