Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua said on July 17 that Philippines was never part of and will never be part of China. The Chinese diplomat made the statement with regards to the posting of “Welcome to the Philippines, Province of China” tarpaulins on July 12 in some parts of Metro Manila.
“It has never been any part of China. No, not now, not ever,” Ambassador Zhao said as quoted by news outlets.
“It’s a kind of vicious attack, not only on the relations between the two countries but also on the independent foreign policy of President Duterte and his administration,” he added.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque described the posting of the tarpaulins as “absurd”.
“I’m sure it’s the enemies of the government who are behind it. So to them, try again. You need a better gimmick than that,” Roque said on the same day the tarpaulins were posted.
He said that certainly there is no truth in the message brought by the banners.
“We continue to assert our sovereignty and sovereign rights. But we decided to move on on issues which are non controversial because we know the final resolution particularly on the issue of sovereignty on the disputed islands will take many many many years to resolve since this was not the subject of arbitral ruling that we won two years ago,” he explained.
Sources: http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2018/07/17/Philippines-Province-of-China-banner.html; http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1011221/chinese-envoy-ph-not-a-province-of-china-not-now-not-ever; http://pcoo.gov.ph/press-briefing/press-briefing-of-presidential-spokesperson-atty-harry-roque/