By Roy Mabasa
A ranking Chinese Embassy official has assured that the case filed by former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales before the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Chinese President Xi Jinping “will in no way stop the development of bilateral relations” between Manila and Beijing.
“I’m sure what they have done or what they will do, will not be able to represent the views of the Philippine government and people. Those actions will in no way stop the development of bilateral relations,” Chinese Embassy Charge’ d’Affaires Tan Qinsheng told reporters over the weekend.
He also pointed out that China was not a member of the ICC, while the Philippines has already withdrawn its membership from the Hague-based criminal court.
“On the issue of South China Sea, we are committed to the peace and stability (in the region) and we are committed in addressing our differences and disputes through our bilateral consultations and negotiation,” Tan added.
On March 15, Del Rosario, alongside with Carpio-Morales, formally sent a “communication” before the ICC, alleging that the Chinese officials have committed crimes “which involve massive, near-permanent and devastating environmental damage across nations.”
Aside from Xi, also named in the complaint were Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Ambassador to Manila Zhao Jianhua.