Chinese envoy warns "tit for tat" if Philippines cracks down on Chinese legally working
Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua has warned of a "tit for tat" if the Philippines would crack down on Chinese nationals legally working in the country.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said this was the message conveyed to him by the Chinese envoy during his recent dinner with him.
"That if this government will just deport Chinese not in accordance with law, then we will also do the same. That's tit for tat," he said of what Zhao told him during the press briefing on Tuesday.
Panelo also clarified President Rodrigo Duterte's statement regarding allowing Chinese workers.
"The President wish to clarify that, that the immigration laws will be strictly enforced against anyone who violates it," he said.
He said that Duterte's statement to be cautious about the Chinese workers refers to those who have working permits.
"He was actually referring to Chinese workers with working permits - they will be protected because they have been the green light to work here," he said.
"What he was saying, like for instance if there are hundreds of Chinese immigrants perceived to be working illegally here, we cannot be so rash and reckless as to just deport them because the Chinese government may also react, because there are 300,000 Filipinos," Panelo added. Celerina Monte/DMS