Philippines reaffirms ‘One China policy’ after Marcos congratulates Taiwan’s Lai

January 16, 2024 - 4:36 PM
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Ferdinand Marcos Jr. President of the Philippines speaks at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in San Francisco, California, U.S., November 15, 2023. (Reuters/Carlos Barria)

The Philippines‘ foreign ministry on Tuesday reaffirmed the country’s “One China policy” after its president, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., congratulated Taiwan’s new leader Lai Ching-te.

Marcos on Monday congratulated Lai for winning Taiwan’s election, referring to him as its next president.

READ: World reactions to Taiwan election

The message was Marcos’ way of recognizing the Philippines and Taiwan’s “mutual interests”, including the 200,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the democratically governed island, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

“The message of President Marcos congratulating the new president was his way of thanking them for hosting our OFWs and holding a successful democratic process. Nevertheless, the Philippines reaffirms its One China Policy,” the statement said.

Marcos’ comments, posted on social media platform X, are likely to irk Beijing, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory.

Other leaders have also congratulated Lai on his victory, with many including U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa calling for peaceful resolution of tensions in the Taiwan Strait.

The Philippines, which has also expressed concerns over tensions in the Taiwan Strait, has ties with Taipei, with its Manila Economic and Cultural Office in Taiwan serving as a de facto embassy.

— Reporting by Mikhail Flores; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor and Michael Perry