TAIPEI — FILIPINOS should follow the events on the escalating tensions between China and Taiwan as the conflict would likely trickle down to the Philippines, which is only about a thousand kilometers away, a representative of a pro-democracy group said over the weekend.

“Taiwan is our neighbor to the north and anything that happens to Taiwan will eventually trickle down towards the Philippines, especially if China launches a very brash offensive,” Girard Mariano L. Lopez, a Filipino student in Taiwan and representative of the Asian pro-democracy group Milk Tea Alliance, told BusinessWorld.    

He noted that a lot of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) will be affected if a possible invasion of Taiwan occurs.

“There are more Filipinos that work in Taiwan than in mainland China itself,” said Mr. Lopez.

“Our kababayans’ loss of revenue or being able to fend for their family and their very lives [will be] endangered because bombs don’t discriminate when they land, as we see with the current Gaza crisis or with eastern Ukraine,” he added.   

The Philippine government remains subscribed to the One China Policy, which recognizes Taiwan as part of China.

In April, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang said that “those who play with fire on Taiwan will eventually get themselves burned.”   

In the same month, Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian asked the Philippines to oppose Taiwan’s independence if the country “cares genuinely” about the welfare of more than 150,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) there. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz