Marcos asserts One-China policy, defends congrats as courtesy


After his message congratulating Taiwan's president-elect Lai Ching-te earned China's displeasure, President Ferdinand ''Bongbong'' Marcos Jr. on Tuesday said that the Philippines continued to adhere to the One-China Policy.

In an interview with GMA Integrated News' Pia Arcangel which aired on "24 Oras," Marcos said the Philippine government was not endorsing Taiwan's independence from China, and that his remark was just a common courtesy.

It was the first time that Marcos addressed the issue.

He admitted that China's negative reaction to his congratulatory message surprised him, and vowed that the Philippine government would continue to adhere to the One China policy. 

''Ako, very simple lang ang ano ko diyan... noong naging Presidente ako binati ako, so what do you do [It's rather simple... They greeted me when I became President. So what do you do]? It's just common courtesy that you do the same for them. That's really where it came from,'' Marcos said.

''The One China policy remains in place. We have adhered to the One China policy strictly and conscientiously since we adopted the One China policy, and that has not changed," he added.

"That will not change. We are not endorsing Taiwanese independence. Taiwan is a province of China but the manner in which they will be brought together again is an internal matter,'' Marcos said.

Marcos said that he only wants peace and that he is not seeking conflict with other countries.

''Ang habol lang natin dito ay kapayapaan na hindi magkagulo,'' Marcos said.


[We just want peace and that there'd be no mess.]

To recall, Marcos posted a statement on X, congratulating Taiwan leader Lai Ching-te "on his election as Taiwan's next President"—a move that angered China and prompted Beijing to summon Manila's ambassador the following day.

China warned the Philippines "not to play with fire" and said Marcos should "read more books to properly understand" the issue.

It further accused Marcos of violating the One-China Policy.

Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. took exception to the remarks that the President should read more.

Teodoro said Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Mao Ning "stooped to such low and gutter level talk—resorting to insulting our President and the Filipino nation, and further debasing herself, the Ministry, and Party she represents in the process."

Manila does not have official diplomatic ties with Taiwan, a democratic self-ruling island which has been separated from the Chinese mainland since 1949.

China considers Taiwan as part of its territory and has vowed to one day seize it, by force if necessary.  —BM/NB, GMA Integrated News