Ailing Philippine envoy to China ‘may be replaced’—Palace
MANILA – The Philippine ambassador to China may be replaced barely three months after her appointment following a stroke this week, the presidential palace said on Saturday.
Veteran diplomat Sonia Brady, 71, who was picked to help ease territorial tensions with China, was rushed to a Beijing hospital on Wednesday and is now recovering, said presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte.
Asked if Brady would be replaced, Valte said: “That is something we should (consider) of course. The thoughts and the opinions also of Ambassador Brady should be considered before anything like that happens.
“At the moment, our concern is really for her recovery so we will watch that first. We have capable fellow workers in the Beijing post who can keep the affairs going on a daily basis.”
Brady was named ambassador in May amid a tense standoff between the Philippines and China over disputed territory in the South China Sea.
She was chosen largely for her familiarity with Chinese culture and politics having already served as ambassador there from 2006 to 2010.
While Brady is recovering, “the deputy chief of mission takes over the affairs of the embassy and its mandate to strengthen our bilateral relations with China”, Foreign Department spokesman Raul Hernandez said.
Philippine relations with China have deteriorated since April after ships from both countries got into a standoff over the Scarborough Shoal, an outcropping of rocks in the South China Sea.
China claims the shoal along with most of the South China Sea, even up to the coasts of its Asian neighbours, while the Philippines claims the shoal as being well within its 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone.
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