Alan on tack vs China: quality, not quantity | Global News

Alan on tack vs China: quality, not quantity

/ 05:15 AM August 29, 2018

Alan Peter Cayetano —AFP

Quality over quantity.

Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said this was the Duterte administration’s guiding principle in dealing with China’s aggression in the South China Sea.

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The approach, Cayetano said at a Senate budget hearing, is producing results.

Cayetano made the statement as he claimed that he had not counted the diplomatic actions that the Philippines had taken against China for encroaching into Philippine territory in the South China Sea and militarizing islands in disputed parts of Spratlys.

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Cayetano said he was willing to disclose details about the diplomatic actions in a closed-door session only.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros pressed Cayetano during the hearing for details on the “50 to 100” diplomatic actions the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) had taken against China.

Silence suspicious

“Transparency makes for good foreign policy,” Hontiveros said. “On the contrary, total silence raises suspicion and discourages public confidence,” she said.

She asked Cayetano how many and what kind of diplomatic actions had been taken against China, but Cayetano said he was unaware of the exact number.

“Honestly we haven’t counted,” Cayetano said.

“But we’re giving you the assurance that in each and every incident, we take the appropriate diplomatic action,” he said in reply to Hontiveros.

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‘Not our playbook’

Recalling answers he gave Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano during a House hearing, Cayetano said what was important was that the Philippines was getting results.

“In a purpose-driven foreign policy, how many doesn’t really matter,” Cayetano said.

He said not protesting, being an act of acquiescence, as claimed by critics, “is not true, and number two, it’s not true that we did not protest.”

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TAGS: Alan Peter Cayetano, international news, Philippine news updates, Sen. Risa Hontiveros, South China Sea
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