Chinese exec tagged as link of Trillanes calls on Enrile
The Chinese official who reportedly had back-channel talks with Senator Antonio Trillanes IV over the territorial disputes in the West Philippine Sea on Thursday exchanged pleasantries with the latter’s nemesis, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.
Chinese Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Fu Ying visited Enrile Thursday afternoon.
She was accompanied by Chinese Ambassador Ma Keqing and Filipino foreign affairs officials, including department spokesman Raul Hernandez.
“She just paid me a visit because she’s my friend. She has been my friend since she was assigned here,” Enrile said of Fu, Chinese ambassador to Manila from 1992 to 2000.
“She used to come to my office to talk to me about some problems then of China, especially when the senators were discussing the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States,” he added.
Enrile said they discussed Chinese history, Philippine economy and world politics.
He said there was no discussion about the two countries’ dispute over territories in the West Philippine Sea.
Told that he seems to be closer to Fu than Trillanes, Enrile laughed, saying that was not discussed.
Journalist Ellen Tordesillas has identified Fu as the back-channel contact of Trillanes in conducting informal negotiations with the Chinese.
“That’s what Trillanes said… Only that I do not know whether Trillanes understood her,” Enrile said, adding that Fu has a degree from the University of Kent in England, and that she was an experienced diplomat who rose from the ranks and had a wide knowledge of international politics.
Asked if he got the sense that the situation between the two countries has somehow normalized, Enrile replied, “You cannot say that.”
“I mentioned about my statements in the newspapers. Well, I said you have a country to serve and I have a country to serve so nothing personal about these things, which are matters of raising and thinking and protecting our respective national interests,” Enrile said.
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