“NEVER MIND them,” said President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s spokesman, in response to questions about China’s latest tension with Taiwan.
“It’s between the two countries,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said, referring to the Asian power and the island it considers a renegade province.
“Taiwan is China’s most sensitive issue and is claimed by Beijing as its sacred territory,” said a report by Reuters, adding that Chinese leader Xi Jinping “has stepped up pressure on the democratic island since Tsai Ing-wen from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party became president in 2016.
“Tayo ang concern natin ay iyong OFWs,” Mr. Panelo, for his part, said. (Overseas Filipino Workers are our concern).
“Kapag medyo may problema doon arising out of that conflict, saka tayo kikilos for the safety of our OFWs,” he added. (If a problem arises out of that conflict, we’ll take action for the safety of our OFWs).
Asked if the Philippine government will support Taiwan, Mr. Panelo said: “Eh sa ngayon hindi natin kasi alam eh. Hayaan mo na muna sila.” (We do not know the situation yet. Never mind them).
Mr. Xi was quoted by the Reuters report as saying, “We do not promise to renounce the use of force and reserve the option to use all necessary measures [to achieve this goal and prevent Taiwan independence].” he also said.
The same report also quoted Taiwan’s Ms. Tsai as saying, “The vast majority in Taiwan resolutely oppose ‘one country, two systems.’ This is the ‘Taiwan consensus.’” — A.L. Balinbin