China has no business warning PH about its activities in Batanes — DND | Global News

China has no business warning PH about its activities in Batanes — DND

/ 07:03 PM February 10, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — China has no business warning the Philippines about its activities in Batanes, the country’s northernmost island province closest to Taiwan, the Department of National Defense (DND) said on Saturday.

DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong made this remark after China’s warning amid Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr.’s order to increase military presence in Batanes as he highlighted its strategic importance for the country.

READ: China to PH: Taiwan a ‘red line’ issue, ‘tread carefully’


Andolong said Teodoro’s orders are part of the DND’s Comprehensive Archipelagic Defense Concept to address the country’s vulnerabilities and enhance its capability to defend its national interest “through certain long-term plans, which include upgrades in our facilities and deployment of personnel.”


READ: Teodoro calls for more structures, increased AFP presence in Batanes

“The Defense Department stresses that Batanes is Philippine territory and China has no business warning the Philippines about what it does within its territory,” Andolong also said in a statement.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin had warned Manila of not “playing with fire” on the issue of Taiwan.

Such remarks, Andolong said, along with other acts, are the reason why Filipinos generally do not trust China.

“China’s pronouncements and acts are the main reasons for its low credibility with the Filipino people,” Andolong also said.

“China should refrain from engaging in provocative rhetoric and activities if it truly wants to earn the widespread trust and respect that it is trying so hard to gain but has, so far, been unable to,” he continued.


Last year, China also slammed the Philippines’ move to allow the United States to rotate and store defense equipment and supplies in three of its military bases relatively near Taiwan under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca).

Beijing said the new Edca sites were put there so that Washington could “encircle and contain China,” and warned Manila that such moves “will seriously harm Philippine national interests and endanger regional peace and stability.”

But Teodoro also said that Beijing has no business questioning Manila’s move, noting that it is conducting activities inside its own territory.

“This is Philippine territory, and it is our business what we do here just as long as it is for Philippine interest,” Teodoro said last August 3.

READ: Other nations have no business questioning Edca sites, says defense chief

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Taiwan, a self-ruled island that China regards as a renegade province subject to reunification, broke away from the mainland in 1949 following its takeover by Mao Zedong’s communist forces.

TAGS: Batanes, China

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