Philippines National Security Adviser Demands Chinese Diplomats' Expulsion Amid South China Sea Conflict

In a recent development, the national security adviser of the Philippines has advocated for the expulsion of Chinese diplomats. This comes in the wake of an alleged leak of a phone conversation with a Filipino admiral, further intensifying the ongoing South China Sea dispute.

What Happened: Eduardo Ano, the national security adviser of the Philippines, accused the Chinese embassy in Manila of “repeated acts of engaging and dissemination of disinformation, misinformation and malformation,” Reuters reported on Friday. He claimed these actions were intended to cause discord and division and “should not be allowed to pass unsanctioned without serious penalty”.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lin Jian reacted to these allegations, terming them as provocative. Lin insisted that Chinese diplomats in the Philippines should be allowed to perform their duties and urged the Philippine side to “stop infringing and provoking, and refrain from denying the facts”.

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The call for expulsion by Ano follows a news report alleging a leak of a phone conversation between a Chinese diplomat and a Filipino admiral discussing the South China Sea dispute. The Manila Times published a transcript of the conversation, which allegedly shows the admiral agreeing to concessions with China. Ano has demanded appropriate action against embassy officials for this alleged violation of Philippine laws and diplomatic protocols.

Why It Matters: This development comes after the Philippines pledged to de-escalate tensions in the South China Sea earlier this month. The country’s President, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., had emphasized the country’s primary goal was to reduce, not intensify, tensions in the strategic waterway.

However, the current situation indicates a significant escalation in the dispute. Earlier in March, China had warned the Philippines that their bilateral relations were at a critical juncture due to maritime disputes. This warning followed a series of confrontations between the nations' coast guards.

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Image by Andy.LIU via Shutterstock

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Posted In: NewsPoliticsGlobalGeneralChinachinese diplomatsPhilippinesPooja RajkumariSouth China Sea
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