China on Tuesday said it had summoned the Philippine ambassador after President Ferdinand Marcos said he looked forward to working with Taiwanese president-elect Lai Ching-te.
“This morning, Assistant Minister Nong Rong summoned the ambassador of the Philippines to China to make solemn representations and urge the Philippine side to give the Chinese side a responsible explanation,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning told a regular press conference.
“The Chinese side is strongly dissatisfied and resolutely opposes” Marcos’s remarks, Mao said.
Independence-leaning Lai eased to a comfortable victory in Taiwan’s presidential election on Saturday.
China regards the democratic island as part of its territory and has vowed to seize it, by force if necessary.
Beijing does not maintain diplomatic ties with countries that recognise Taiwan and opposes official communications with Taipei by foreign powers.
In a Monday social media post, Marcos congratulated Lai on his election and said he looked forward to “close collaboration” with him.
The remarks “are a serious violation of the One China Principle… a serious breach of the political commitments made by the Philippines to the Chinese side, and a gross interference in China’s internal affairs”, Mao said.
“We are telling the Philippine side not to play with fire on the Taiwan issue… and to stop immediately its wrongful words and deeds on Taiwan-related issues and sending wrong signals to separatist forces for Taiwan independence,” she added.
“We advise President Marcos to read more to properly understand the history of the Taiwan issue so that he can draw the right conclusions.”