Locsin to ‘strongly recommend’ terminating contracts with Chinese firms in WPS reclamation

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Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said in an interview with CNN Philippines August 28 that he would “strongly recommend” terminating contracts with Chinese firms if he finds out the they were involved in West Philippine Sea reclamation.

The foreign affairs secretary made the statement after United Stated imposed restrictions on 24 Chinese firms and individuals connected to them. “These individuals will now be inadmissible into the United States, and their immediate family members may be subject to these visa restrictions as well,” United State Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said in a statement.

“Since 2013, the PRC has used its state-owned enterprises to dredge and reclaim more than 3,000 acres on disputed features in the South China Sea, destabilizing the region, trampling on the sovereign rights of its neighbors, and causing untold environmental devastation.  CCCC led the destructive dredging of the PRC’s South China Sea outposts and is also one of the leading contractors used by Beijing in its global “One Belt One Road” strategy.  CCCC and its subsidiaries have engaged in corruption, predatory financing, environmental destruction, and other abuses across the world,” Pompeo said.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Locsin said “I’m not sure that any of those listed companies are among those that we are directly dealing with…If I find that any of those companies are doing business with us, then I would strongly recommend we terminate that relationship with that company.”

“If they are in any way involved in the reclamation, then it becomes consistent on our part to terminate any contract with them,” he added.

However, Secretary Locsin said “since the contact is already entered into, they could sue us back.”