Press Release
April 14, 2021

Statement of Senator Risa Hontiveros on the DFA summoning the Chinese Ambassador

I laud the Department of Foreign Affairs for summoning Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian and taking him to task with regard to the escalating tensions in the West Philippine Sea.

I thank the DFA for stressing our 2016 Hague victory and for making it clear, directly to the Ambassador, that China's sweeping territorial claims are without legal basis.

The Chinese Embassy's recent statements have often been flagrant lies. It denied the presence of maritime militia in Julian Felipe Reef, saying that fishing vessels were just taking shelter due to the bad weather. It claimed that Julian Felipe Reef is part of China's Nansha Qundao, a name it gave our Spratly Islands.

Beyond these lies, however, the Chinese Embassy arrogantly and shamelessly sought to paint the Philippines as irrational and unreasonable. Instead of acknowledging the mere presence of its ships or at least recognizing our concerns as valid, it went on to bend the truth and even went so far as to demean our own officials. These acts of wanton disrespect have no place in our country.

I can only hope that the Chinese Ambassador left that conversation with a fuller understanding of the Philippines' point of view and a broader appreciation of our country's pride and dignity.

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