‘Get the f*** out!’: Philippines foreign secretary in undiplomatic rebuke to China

·2-min read
<p>File image: China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Philippine's Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr bump their elbows during a meeting in Manila, Philippines on 16 January, 2021</p> (Reuters)

File image: China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Philippine's Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr bump their elbows during a meeting in Manila, Philippines on 16 January, 2021

(Reuters)

It was hardly the normal language of a diplomat.

But the Philippines foreign minister could not contain himself when considering his country’s dispute with Beijing over territorial waters in the South China Sea.

“China, my friend, how politely can I put it? Let me see … GET THE F*** OUT. What are you doing to our friendship? You. Not us. We’re trying. You. You’re like an ugly oaf forcing your attentions on a handsome guy who wants to be a friend; not to father a Chinese province,” said Teodoro L Locsin Jr in a tweet on Monday.

“What is it so hard to understand about (Philippines President Rodrigo) Duterte’s UN declaration that the Arbitral Award made all maritime features Philippines; no one else’s?” he questioned in a series of tweets.

He said, “China does incursions into Philippine territory and evaporates all the goodwill it’s generated.”

Philippines has an ongoing dispute with Beijing related to rights over territorial waters in the South China Sea.

Mr Locsin’s comments come after Manila highlighted recently what it called the "illegal" presence of hundreds of Chinese boats inside the Philippines 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, through which ship-borne trade worth millions passes each year. In 2016, an arbitration tribunal in The Hague ruled the claim, which Beijing bases on its old maps, was inconsistent with international law.

In a statement on Monday, the Philippine foreign ministry accused China’s coast guard of "shadowing, blocking, dangerous manoeuvres, and radio challenges of the Philippine coast guard vessels."

So far, the Philippines has filed over 75 diplomatic protests to China since 2016.

“Our statements are stronger too because of the more brazen nature of the activities, the number, frequency and proximity of intrusions,” said Marie Yvette Banzon-Abalos, executive director for strategic communications at the foreign ministry.

Following his outburst, several people and experts on social media pointed out that he is a diplomat and should not have used such language.

Additional reporting by agencies

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