NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews) – President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. (PBBM) was called out recently by Beijing for congratulating Lai Ching, the newly elected President of the Republic of China (Taiwan). The People’s Republic of China (PRC) was visibly irked by PBBM for expressing closer collaboration with Taiwan to advance mutual interest. The friendly gesture of Marcos is considered a violation of the One China principle, which Beijing wants the world to uphold. Marcos was directed to read more to understand the China issue.
Beijing apparently referred to the country’s 1975 communique with the PRC that recognizes it as the sole legal government of China, and the position of the Chinese government that there is but one China and that Taiwan is an integral part of Chinese territory. The two governments also agree to settle all disputes by peaceful means without resorting to the use or threat of force.
While the country subscribes to the One China principle in accord with said communique, its wings are not clipped, however, on how to deal with Taiwan, a close neighbor where some 200,000 Filipinos earn a living.
By all account, our economic and cultural relations with Taiwan do not break or undermine the One China principle.
We do not recognize Taiwan as an independent state and has not established diplomatic relations with it. Yet, we put up in the place the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) precisely to attend to economic issues and concerns, and related matters. MECO has conveniently served, too, as a channel to Taiwan’s humanitarian efforts and assistance to the country during natural disasters.
Our One China policy is such that we continue to recognize the PRC as one sovereign state but maintain economic, trade and cultural relations with Taiwan as it is, regardless of its status in the community of nations.
We do no harm anyone with such stance, and, therefore, we see nothing wrong with what the President of our Republic has done.
The Chinese should stop being a bullying giant. Why would they direct a sovereign head of state what to do? What a shame.
Marcos to read more? No, it should be Xi Jinping. He should read the arbitral ruling of the Hague Tribunal, which confirms Philippine sovereignty on the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the South China Sea. Moreover, he should revisit the 1975 communique to remind himself that the use or the threat of force in settling disputes is prohibited, such that China should stop its wanton aggression in the West Philippine Sea.
It seems China is accustomed to the lapdog attitude of Digong Duterte when he was the tenant of Malacanang, who wags his tail to their command. The new tenant has a mind of his own.
(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan, Ph.D., is retired professor and former chancellor of Mindanao State University at Naawan, Misamis Oriental, Philippines.)
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