Taiwan chides Roque: China has no say on deportation of OFW
MANILA, Philippines – The Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs has reproached Philippine officials, including presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, for implying that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has a say in the possible deportation of a Filipina worker who has been critical of President Rodrigo Duterte.
News outlets in Taiwan reported on Wednesday Joanne Ou, spokesperson of the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, urged Philippine authorities to stop misrepresenting Taiwan as part of the PRC, as it has never been ruled by the Asian superpower for even a day.
“My country expresses strong dissatisfaction and high regret over Philippine government officials wrongly accusing Taiwan as part of China,” Ou said in an English translation of her statement.
“China has never ruled Taiwan for one day, and only the popularly elected Taiwan government can represent the country’s 23 million people internationally,” she added.
The ministry issued that statement after Roque was asked to react on Taiwan’s rejection of the deportation of Filipino caregiver Elanel Ordidor for criticizing the Duterte administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Roque said it would be up to Taiwan — and China — to decide on the issue.
The relationship between Taiwan or the Republic of China with mainland China is a peculiar one.
For a time, Taiwan’s founder, nationalist politician Chiang Kai-shek, ruled over China. But he was forced to relocate when his Kuomintang party was driven out by the communist movement led by Mao Zedong.
As Mao established the Asian superpower, Taiwan also developed into a major cultural and technological hub in the region.
But while Taiwan insists on its sovereignty, China has always maintained that it still owns Taiwan.
The Philippines is one of many countries in the world that adopts a one-China policy, which recognizes PRC as the “only China” and Taiwan as part of it.
This policy has left Taiwan out of major world organizations like the United Nations and the World Health Organization.
The recent incident about deporting an OFW is one of the several instances where Taiwan was treated as if a part of China. Last February, as the COVID-19 pandemic was picking up speed, Philippine authorities banned inbound flights from China, including Taiwan, even though it had, and still has, a generally low incidence of coronavirus infections.
Previously, Taiwan rejected the deportation of Ordidor, saying: “Taiwan is a sovereign, independent country where foreign workers enjoy ‘citizen treatment,’ and their rights and interests are protected by relevant laws and regulations, including freedom of speech, which should be respected by governments of all countries,”
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