Beijing’s fury over the remarks is the latest in a succession of clashes between the Philippines and China, which come as Manila bolsters ties with former colonial ruler the United States, including expanding an agreement on Washington’s use of its military bases.
Other leaders have also congratulated Lai on his victory, with many, including US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa, calling for peaceful resolution of tensions in the Taiwan Strait.
On Sunday, in its response to media queries, Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said that “we welcome the successful conclusion of the elections and congratulate Dr William Lai and his party on their victory”.
A day later, China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao said in a press conference that China “immediately made solemn demarches to Singapore” over the statement.
“Singaporean leaders stated on multiple occasions that the Taiwan question is ‘a deep red line’ for China,” she said. “China values this statement and hopes that Singapore will strictly abide by the One China principle and uphold the overall friendly relations between China and Singapore with concrete actions.”
Separately, Taiwan’s foreign ministry expressed its thanks to Marcos, saying Taiwan and the Philippines “share values such as freedom, democracy and the rule of law” and Taiwan would further deepen cooperation and exchanges.”
The Philippines has unofficial ties with Taipei, with its Manila Economic and Cultural Office in Taiwan serving as a de facto embassy.
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