2019News

China disavows Palace ‘tit for tat’ claim on illegals

By Camille A. Aguinaldo, February 28 2019; Business World

https://www.bworldonline.com/china-disavows-palace-tit-for-tat-claim-on-illegals/

Image Credit to Philippine Star

CHINA ON Thursday denied warning Malacañang of retaliation over the latter’s policies on Chinese illegals as earlier articulated by Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo.

“The Chinese Embassy has taken note of media reports on the Presidential spokesperson’s remarks on illegal Chinese workers in the Philippines,” the Chinese Embassy in Manila said in a statement. “First, China adheres to the principles of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs.”

“The Chinese Embassy in the Philippines did not say that Beijing would adopt a ‘tit-for tat’ approach should the Philippine government deport Chinese nationals found working illegally in the country,” the statement also read, adding:

“Chinese law enforcement agencies will continue to properly handle relevant issues concerning foreign nationals working illegally in China in accordance with laws and regulations.”

In a press briefing last Tuesday, Mr. Panelo claimed that Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua told him over dinner that should the Philippine government enforce arbitrary deportation of Chinese nationals, “then (China) will also do the same. That’s tit for tat.”

The Embassy also clarified that China “respects the laws and regulations of the Philippines regarding employment of foreign nationals in the country.”

“China hopes that the Philippine law enforcement agencies would continue to deal with relevant issues in accordance with the laws and regulations in a professional manner,” the Embassy said.

It also noted that China has always advised its nationals to observe Philippine laws and regulations through the issuance of consular notices.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte himself, in a speech at a campaign rally in Laguna on Saturday, said he would not order the deportation of Chinese nationals working illegally in the country, adding that there are about 300,000 Filipinos in China who might be ejected as a result.

For his part, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. tweeted on Thursday, in response to an inquiry on whether it was China’s policy to send illegal workers in the Philippines: “No it is not China’s policy; it happens; like it is not our policy to send our people to work illegally there or elsewhere; it just happens; and we will protect them regardless how they got into a mess. Our mandate and China’s: the protection of one’s nationals abroad.”

The Senate committee on labor, employment and human resources development has been conducting hearings into the influx of foreign workers in the Philippines, particularly Chinese nationals.

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