Taiwan and Philippines flags
Flags of the two nations

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Joanne Ou yesterday rejected earlier claims by Philippine officials that Taiwan is a part of China.

Referring to an ongoing spat that has seen Manila request a Filipina home-help in Taiwan be deported to her home country after making disparaging remarks online about the Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte, Ou is reported as saying “China has never ruled Taiwan for one day, and only the popularly elected Taiwan government can represent the country’s 23 million people internationally.”

The home-help in question had supposedly been uploading “nasty and malevolent materials” to social media platforms that were seen as critical of the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, and his approach to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines.

As of April 30th the Philippines had recorded over 8,200 cases of the virus with almost 560 deaths, compared to just 429 cases and 6 deaths in neighboring Taiwan.

Ms. Ou went on to mention that the representative office of Taiwan in Manila has been instructed to file a complaint with Philippine authorities after the historically inaccurate claim made by Philippine Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque was broadcast on ABS-CBN News in the country.

Referring to his government’s wish to have the Filipina home-help deported from Taiwan for her views on President Duterte, Mr. Roque had said, “We leave that wholly to Taiwan and China. Taiwan is part of China.”

Earlier on Wednesday Angelito Banayo, the serving chairman and resident representative of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) located in Taipei, stated that he had not been asked to facilitate the deportation request by Manila, adding that such a move is the “sovereign privilege of the host country” according to official Taiwanese government news sources.

The latest disagreement follows a brief ban on Taiwanese entering the Philippines three months ago when the COVID-19 pandemic was just beginning to spread.


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