ICC case vs Xi a fabrication – envoy
MANILA, Philippines — The communication filed in the International Criminal Court (ICC) by two former Philippine government officials over alleged crimes against humanity in the South China Sea is a political action “viciously targeting” President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders.
Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua on Monday called the communication a “fabrication” and expressed confidence that it would not prosper.
“[W]e don’t think it is a proper action that is based on facts,” Zhao told reporters in Malacañang.
‘Misuse of ICC mandate’
“It’s a fabrication and also the misuse of the mandate of the ICC,” he added.
Zhao was at the Palace to meet with presidential spokes-person Salvador Panelo.
On March 15, former Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales filed a communication in the ICC accusing Xi and other Chinese leaders of crimes against humanity through “devastating environmental damage across nations” in the disputed South China Sea.
President Rodrigo Duterte, who is trying to build closer ties with China, has belittled the communication, saying the ICC has no jurisdiction over China and the Philippines.
He also said that Del Rosario and Morales filed the case as private citizens, as they are no longer part of the government.
Zhao acknowledged the President’s statement, saying the communication was “an action by individuals.”
“President Duterte and the department concerned have expressed clearly to the Chinese, the [Philippine] government has no role in it. So it’s an action by individuals,” he said.
At a press briefing, Panelo said Zhao shared the Philippines’ concern that the ICC might be “weaponized” as a political tool.