Don’t lecture PH on its foreign policy, Hontiveros tells Chinese envoy

Published August 5, 2022, 10:57 AM

by Joseph Pedrajas

Senator Risa Hontiveros has called out Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian for supposedly imposing a foreign policy that the country should pursue in light of the recent diplomatic tension involving the United States (US), China, and Taiwan.

In a statement on Friday, Aug. 5, Hontiveros said Huang “should not presume to lecture the Philippines as to how we should pursue our foreign policy objectives”.

She also reminded the latter that “in our pursuit of our independent foreign policy, the Philippines has every right, at any time, to review, amend, or modify our foreign policy”.

“The Philippines is a sovereign state, following an independent foreign policy,” Hontiveros asserted.

The senator made the remark after Huang said he hopes the Philippines “will strictly abide by the one-China principle and handle all Taiwan-related issues with prudence to ensure sound and steady development of China-Philippines relations” following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, without permission from China, which claims territory over the self-governing island.

For Hontiveros, Huang “shouldn’t pontificate on such policies,” given that China “stubbornly and steadfastly refuses to recognize a decision rendered by an international arbitral court, and ignores and flouts international law in the West Philippine Sea when it suits her interest”.

“As for the so-called ‘special relationship’ between the Philippines and China, ano nga ba ang special relationship na ito? (What is this special relationship about?) Hegemon-Client State? Master-Servant? Bully-Victim? Huwag silang magmando ng kung ano ang dapat gawin ng bansa natin, kung hindi nga nila magawang respetuhin ang ating karagatan, teritoryo, at soberanya (They should not impose what a country should do, if they cannot even respect our sea, territory, and sovereignty),” she said.

“It is unfortunate that the good ambassador felt the need to impose his will on our country, disrespecting our agency and autonomy. Ang Pilipinas ay may sariling pagkakakilanlan at pag-iisip. Huwag sana nilang pangunahan (The Philippines has its own identity and thinking. They should not tell us what to do),” she added.