DFA hands-off on calls to boycott China-made goods
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has distanced itself from calls to boycott China-made products amid the ongoing maritime dispute over the West Philippine Sea.
“Both the Philippines and China have taken the position that the South China Sea dispute should not be the sum total of [our] relations,” DFA said in a statement Monday.
“The independent drive to boycott China-made products is an initiative of certain sectors in the Philippines and other parts of the world who are exercising their right to free expression,” it said.
There have been calls to boycott China-made goods to protest their reclamation of islands and reefs in the Spratly Islands.
China has been claiming the entire South China Sea, including large portions of the Philippine 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone, as its undisputed territory.
The Philippines has filed a case against China over its nine-dash claim before the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).
According to latest figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), China is the biggest source of imports with 12 percent as of March 2015.
“Payments were recorded at $614.70 million, a decrease of 27.2 percent from $844.11 million in March 2014,” PSA said on its website. Mary Gillan Frances Ropero