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News Locsin clarifies ‘apology’: Not to China only to envoy

Tagapagbalita 

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FOREIGN Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. clarified that he apologized solely to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi for hurting his feelings and not to the entire Chinese government.

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Locsin on Monday sent a “strongly-worded” tweet telling China to “get the f**k out” of the West Philippine Sea (WPS) as Beijing repeatedly ignored Manila’s demand for it to withdraw its vessels from the area.

“To my friend Wang Yi only. Nobody else,” Locsin said on Twitter on Tuesday in reaction to a Palace report that he has apologized to the Chinese government for spewing insult in denouncing the lingering presence of Chinese ships in the WPS.

He made the clarification amid Malacanang’s claim that he apologized to Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian for lambasting China.

“Hindi sa Chinese Ambassador. Trabaho niya ay tumanggap ng reklamo o insulto ([I did] Not [apologize] to the Chinese Ambassador. It is his job to receive complaint or insult),” Locsin pointed out.

“I won’t plead the last provocation as an excuse for losing it; but if Wang Yi is following Twitter then I’m sorry for hurting his feelings but his alone,” Locsin said.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Wenbin, in a statement, said, “Facts have proven time and time again that megaphone diplomacy can only undermine mutual trust rather than change reality.”

Without mentioning anybody, Wang added, “We hope that certain individuals from the Philippine side will mind basic manners and act in ways that suit his status.”

In another tweet, Locsin said his friendship with the Chinese foreign minister is open and candid. “I’d deeply regret losing his friendship.”

“I suddenly realized my friendship with Wang Yi was on the line so I tweeted my concern about our friendship. That must continue. He’s my idol in diplomacy.”

He described Wang as one of the “most elegant and intelligent foreign diplomats in history.”

Locsin continued, “It’s been my elusive dream to copy until I attain in mind and manner the elegance of Wang Yi.”

“His opinion alone matters. 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,” he said.

Beijing has no enforcement rights in the WPS, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) stressed as it denounced the Chinese Coast Guard’s (CCG) belligerent actions against the Philippine Coast Guard in the area.

The DFA on Monday filed two new diplomatic protests for CCG’s harassment of the PCG and the “lingering” presence of Chinese vessels within the Philippines exclusive economic zone and territorial waters.

The Philippines has repeatedly told China to withdraw its fishing vessels and other maritime assets around the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) in the WPS, to no avail.

In a statement, the DFA said it has “protested the shadowing, blocking, dangerous maneuver, and radio challenges by the CCG of PCG vessels conducting legitimate maritime patrols and training exercises in the vicinity of Bajo de Masinloc on April 24 to April 25.”

“It has also protested the incessant, illegal, prolonged, and increasing presence of Chinese fishing vessels and maritime militia vessels in Philippine maritime zones,” the Foreign Affairs department said.

 
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