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China warns the Philippines not to play with fire after the president's statements on Taiwan

China warns the Philippines not to play with fire after the president's statements on Taiwan

BEIJING/MANILA (Reuters) – China summoned the Philippine ambassador on Tuesday and warned the country not to play with fire after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. congratulated Taiwan's president-elect, Lai Ching-te, on his election victory.

A Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said China was “deeply dissatisfied and strongly opposed to these statements,” referring to the fact that Marcos on Monday congratulated Lai on his victory in Taiwan's elections and referred to him as its next president.

The spokeswoman said, “President Marcos's statements constitute a serious violation of the one-China principle and (…) a serious violation of the political commitments made by the Philippines to the Chinese side, and a blatant interference in China's internal affairs.” ning.

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Mao said that “China has lodged a strong protest with the Philippines” and recalled its ambassador “to give a responsible explanation to China.”

“We suggest that President Marcos read more books to properly understand the complexities of the Taiwan issue so that he can draw the right conclusions.”

In a statement on Tuesday, the Philippine Foreign Ministry reiterated the country's “one-China policy” and said Marcos' message aimed to recognize the “common interests” of the Philippines and Taiwan, including the 200,000 Filipino workers on the democratically-ruled island.

When Reuters asked for comment on Beijing's summoning of the Philippine envoy and China's rebuke, Marcos' office reiterated its previous statement on the “one-China policy.”

Beijing's anger at the comments is the latest in a series of clashes between the Philippines and China, and comes as Manila strengthens its ties with the United States, including expanding an agreement on the use of its military bases around Washington.

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