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20th of October 2018

International



Chinese flag flying next to PH colors puzzles House visitors

LOOK: Chinese flags placed in front of the House of Representatives as Ji Bingxua, vice chair of China’s National People's Congress, pays a courtesy call on Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo pic.twitter.com/EjhuTgkzH1

— Marlon Ramos (@iammarlonramos) September 10, 2018

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Has China’s territorial intrusion reached the House of Representatives?

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Some House employees and people visiting the legislative complex in Quezon City were surprised upon seeing three Chinese flags hoisted in front of its main building on Monday.

A member of the security staff, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the red flags were placed next to the Philippine flag as part of the welcome rites for a contingent of visiting high-ranking Chinese officials led by Ji Bingxua, vice chair of China’s National People’s Congress.

The office of Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo confirmed that Ji and his companions paid a courtesy call on the former President and met with House Deputy Speaker Arthur Yap.

Very brief visit

But the security personnel said he himself was puzzled why the Chinese flags had to be raised when Ji’s visit just lasted for over an hour.

“I don’t remember the last time that a foreign flag was hoisted here for a visiting foreign leader,” the security staffer told the Inquirer.

Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe also admitted that such an arrangement was not common.

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“As far as I know, that’s a first. I just hope that they will do that to other visiting foreign leaders so that we will not be accused of giving special attention to China,” Batocabe said.

West Philippine Sea dispute

Critics of President Rodrigo Duterte had assailed him for his close ties with Beijing amid the territorial dispute between China and the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea, seawaters in the vast South China Sea within Manila’s 370-kilometer exclusive economic zone.

They also lambasted the President for his decision to set aside the country’s historic victory in the international arbitral court in the Hague in exchange for loans, investments and financial assistance from China.

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