Locsin says he will 'regret' losing friendship with Chinese FM over his tweet on WPS issue

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Tuesday admitted he would “deeply regret” losing his “friendship” with Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councilor Wang Yi over his expletive-laced tweet against China’s continued incursions in the West Philippine Sea.

DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. (DFA)

Locsin was chastised by Malacañang for his tweet and personally called Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian to apologize for his acerbic tweet.

In one of his latest tweets, Locsin believes he did not “shoot his foot” when he apologized to China for his expletives but instead spoke of his “open and candid” friendship with his Chinese counterpart.

“Our friendship is open and candid; we talk out issues after the formal presentation of this or that complaint or initiative. Last meeting for one hour lasted 3; mostly on what might best be done in bad situations. I’d deeply regret losing his friendship,” the country’s top diplomat said.

Locsin may be referring to his last meeting with Wang Yi on April 1, 2021 where he, along with the foreign ministers of Indonesia and Malaysia, was invited to China for talks ahead of the ASEAN Leaders Summit in Jakarta.

“He mentored me in my Myanmar understanding and response. I went to China to get his advice before the ASEAN leaders summit and followed it to the letter,” the DFA secretary said in a separate tweet.

In apologizing to the Chinese foreign minister, Locsin said he is “sorry for hurting his feelings but his alone,” adding that it is only Wang Yi’s opinion that matters.

He also expressed his admiration for the Chinese official whose elegance has been his “elusive dream to copy until I attain in mind and manner”.

“Oh, just the most elegant and intelligent foreign diplomat in history; up there with Lavrov but in a different way,” he added.

The former newspaper publisher and a politician-turned diplomat said he suddenly realized that his friendship with Wang Yi was on the line prompting him to tweet his concern about their friendship.

“That must continue. He’s my idol in diplomacy. (I think his idol and mine is Lavrov.) I add Mike Pompeo. Blinken is emerging as a force in his own right,” he said.

Locsin’s profanity-laden tweet made headlines all over the world on Monday for bluntly telling his “friend” China to “get the f---k out” of the West Philippine Sea.

“China, my friend, how politely can I put it? Let me see...O...Get the f—k out. What are you doing to our friendship? Yu. Not us. We’re trying. You. You're like an ugly oaf forcing your attentions on a handsome guy who wants to be a friend; not to father a Chinese province,” he tweeted.