Press Release
May 12, 2023

Hontiveros meets with Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, raises issues in the West PH Sea

TAIPEI, TAIWAN -- Senator Risa Hontiveros recently met with Taiwan Foreign Minister Dr. Jaushieh Joseph Wu in Taipei City, Taiwan to reaffirm her commitment to a peaceful resolution in the West Philippine Sea and the entire South China Sea.

"Unlike China, who has been employing tactics that employ force short of war, we can genuinely and diplomatically engage with Taiwan in order to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Taiwan has been a good and responsible friend to the Philippines, and in the face of a common bully, friends tend to stick with each other," the senator said.

"As a member of the Senate, the treaty-making body of our legislature, I will continually work with nations such as Taiwan, with whom we share the same values of freedom and democracy, to uphold and maintain the relative peace our region has so far enjoyed," she added.

Hontiveros said the Thursday discussion is meant to contribute to the legislative roadmap she will craft to have clear policies that can allow the Philippines to protect, defend, and maintain sovereignty over territories in the WPS.

In the meeting, the senator and the foreign minister also agreed that international relations among various democratic nations must be strengthened in order to resist China's aggressive actions.

"While the Philippines does not yet have official diplomatic ties with Taiwan, constant cooperation is needed as both countries confront similar challenges, from cybersecurity to climate change. It is also in the interest of our country to deepen people to people exchanges with Taiwan, whether through tourism or overseas employment," Hontiveros said.

The senator's visit to Taipei was sparked by the recent threats to our overseas Filipino workers by the Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines, should it not oppose Taiwanese independence.

Before her engagement with MOFA, the senator met with some of the OFWs living in Taiwan to check on their welfare and working conditions, amid the rising tensions in the SCS.

"The foreign minister himself acknowledged that migrant workers such as our OFWs are crucial in the economic development of his country. Our OFWs, in turn, are able to share in the prosperity of Taiwanese society and help improve the lives of their families back home. For this economic growth to benefit our countries, we must do all we can to preserve peace," the senator concluded.

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