China reacts to Philippines minister’s abusive message, calls for ‘basic etiquette’

Filipinos hold a mock Chinese flag with a collage of the faces of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping

China on May 4 called on the Philippines to practice “basic etiquette” and refrain from “megaphone diplomacy” after the southeast Asian nation’s foreign minister used an expletive-laced Twitter message to demand the removal of Chinese vessels from the disputed waters.

Philippines foreign minister, Teodoro Locsin who is reportedly known was his blatant remarks, took to Twitter to lash out at China as manila protests over the ‘illegal’ presence of hundreds of Chinese boats inside the  200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Philippines. Responding to the same, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbein said on Tuesday that such actions should immediately cease.

Wenbin said, “The Huangyan Island is China’s territory and its adjacent waters are under China’s jurisdiction. China urges the Philippine side to earnestly respect China’s sovereignty and jurisdiction, and stop taking actions that may complicate the situation.”

Facts have proven time and time again that megaphone diplomacy can only undermine mutual trust rather than change reality. We hope that certain individual from the Philippine side will mind basic manners and act in ways that suit his status,” he added.

China stressed on friendship between nations

Further, the Chinese foreign ministry cited the comments by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte that differences between both nations on individual issues should not hinder friendship and cooperation. Wenbin said, “Just as Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said, the differences and disputes between the two countries on some issues should not affect the overall friendship and cooperation, which is also an important consensus reached by China and the Philippines on many occasions.”

“China has always been and will remain committed to properly handling differences and advancing cooperation with the Philippines through friendly consultation, and will continue to provide assistance within its capacity to the Philippines in its efforts to fight the epidemic and resume economic development,” he added.

China claims the South China Sea in almost its entirety through which nearly $3 trillion of ship-borne trade passes each year. Irked by the presence of Chinese vessels, Locsin said on Twitter in an abusive message, referring to the Chinese government’s top diplomat, “I won’t plead the last provocation as an excuse for losing it; but if Wang Yi is following Twitter then I’m sorry for hurting his feelings but his alone.” However, the Philippines President’s spokesperson Harry Roque said in a regular press conference that “Only the President can cuss.”

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