THE Chinese ambassador has expressed his support for the police officer involved in the “taho” incident, and urged the government to prosecute the Chinese woman who was recorded on video assaulting the policeman who barred her from boarding a commuter train with her soft tofu drink.
In a briefing, the President’s spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said Thursday that Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua met with Mr. Duterte at the Palace on Wednesday to say, among other things, that such behavior is “not tolerated” in China.
The ambassador paid a “long courtesy call” to the President, Mr. Panelo said, and also invited him to visit China in April for the second Belt and Road forum in April, to which Mr. Duterte responded that he was “looking forward” to making the trip, Mr. Panelo said.
“He extended [the] invitation to the President, and conveyed greetings from the President of China,” Mr. Panelo added.
Mr. Panelo also said, “It was a long courtesy call. I think it took us one hour and a half; and first, he extended his greeting and (commended) the police officer who was the subject of the ‘taho’ incident. He said he saw the video, and [he] said he was impressed by the professionalism and restraint exhibited by the police officer.”
Mr. Zhao, Mr. Panelo added, said that the government of China “does not tolerate this kind of behavior.”
“In fact he said that in the Philippines, we should prosecute nationals of other countries including Chinese who violate our laws; in the same way that the Chinese government will also prosecute foreign nationals that violate their laws,” Mr. Panelo said.
The official Xinhua news agency has reported that the second Belt and Road forum will be held in Beijing.
Quoting Mr. Zhao, Xinhua said “the Chinese government attaches great importance” to Mr. Duterte’s presence at the said forum.
The report added that Mr. Zhao said the attendance of Mr. Duterte “will help enhance Belt and Road cooperation and boost the development of bilateral relations.”
Mr. Duterte had attended the first Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in May 2017. — Arjay L. Balinbin