China calls on the international community to respect the Philippines’ sovereignty

China calls on the international community to respect the Philippines’ sovereignty

- in Opinion
File photo shows President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping greeting each other at the sidelines of the APEC Leaders' Summit in Lima, Peru on November 19, 2016. REY BANIQUET/ Presidential Photo

The Philippines has just gained a powerful ally in the international community in its fight against the illegal drug trade in the country.

In a recent statement, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that “Drugs are the common enemy for all human beings, bringing pain to many developing countries, including China. China supports President Duterte and the Philippine government in combating drug-related crimes in accordance with the law.”

He added that China “hope(s) the international community can respect the judicial sovereignty of the Philippines and support its efforts in fighting drug-related crimes through cooperation.”

This is a welcome development as it will allow both the Chinese and Philippine governments to work together in combating the drug menace. This is a stark departure from the previous Aquino administration, where it was widely believed that the flood of illegal drugs that came into the Philippines was aided by the strained relations between the two countries.

But with President Duterte’s warming relations with China, both countries can work hand in hand to eliminate the flow of drugs into the country. And if anyone thinks that the Chinese government is not capable of controlling its own citizens, then they don’t know China at all.

While there are apprehensions from some quarters as to the real motives of China, it is really up to the Philippines to protect its own interests and not expect any special treatment from any of our allies.

In tagalog we often say, “walang manloloko kung walang magpapaloko” and it is true with diplomacy as well. China, like the United States or Russia or the European Union will always look after its own interests. And it is up to us to look after ours.

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