China hits senator's 'ridiculously absurd, irresponsible' remarks amid COVID-19 crisis | Global News

China hits senator’s ‘ridiculously absurd, irresponsible’ remarks amid COVID-19 crisis

/ 08:04 PM April 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Chinese Embassy in Manila slammed as “ridiculously absurd” and “irresponsible” the remarks of a senator that China should pay up for the cost of the Philippines’ COVID-19 response as compensation for damaging the latter’s reef ecosystems.

“At this trying time, it is ridiculously absurd and irresponsible to make such remarks for the sole purpose of catching eyeballs and for selfish political gains,” the embassy said in a statement on Wednesday.


The embassy did not identify the senator it was referring to.


But it was Senator Risa Hontiveros who earlier said that Beijing should “foot the bill” for Manila’s COVID-19 response by paying more than P200 billion over the destruction of Philippine reefs in the West Philippine Sea.

“China and the Philippines are friendly neighbors across the sea,” the embassy continued.

Reports say that the Asian powerhouse continues its reclamation activities in contested areas in the South China Sea even as the world grapples with the crisis brought about by COVID-19, which first broke out in China’s Wuhan City, Hubei province, late last year.

READ: Beijing names islands in disputed South China Sea

READ: PH told to protest 2 new Chinese districts in South China Sea

The embassy, meanwhile, assured that China will continue to provide its support and assistance “to the best of our ability to the Philippines, and stand together with the Philippine government and people to jointly tackle the challenges and tide over the difficulties.”


READ: Chinese experts suggest more quarantine sites, improved test capabilities in PH

To date, Philippine health officials have confirmed that 6,710 individuals in the Philippines have COVID-19 virus infection. Of the number, 693 have recovered while 446 patients have already died.

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Globally, the pandemic has affected over 2,557,500 people and killed 177,660 even as 690, 600 managed to recover from the new coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2, which causes the highly contagious and deadly COVID-19.


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