Chinese Embassy rejects call for China to pay for PH’s COVID-19 response

The Chinese Embassy on Wednesday blasted a Filipina senator for demanding that China pay the Philippines’ expenses in battling COVID-19 as a reparation for destroying the reefs at West Philippine Sea.
Senator Risa Hontiveros of Philipines said that China must pay a compensation for the country some ₱200 billion for “at least six year’s” because of environmental damages.

According to the reports of the University of the Philippines’ Marine Science Institute, which states that the destruction to the reefs in Scarborough Shoal and Spratly Islands is equivalent to at least ₱33.1 billion in annual losses. This is reportedly on top of other economic and health costs.

The senator added that the compensation should be used to fund efforts against the coronavirus disease and extend aid to affected families.

“The government should demand what is rightfully ours and use this to help the Filipino people battle COVID-19,” she said.

The Chinese embassy, in response, reduced the senator’s call to a “selfish political” tactic.
“At this trying time, it is ridiculously absurd and irresponsible to make such remarks for the sole purpose of catching eyeballs and for selfish political gains,” it said, adding that the two countries are “friendly neighbors across the sea.”

The West Philippine Sea are areas that the Philippines claims and occupies in the disputed South China Sea. While an international arbitration has already favored Manila by concluding China has no claims to the bulk of the global waterway, Chinese President Xi Jinping continues to ignore the ruling.

Apart from compensation for marine environmental damages, Hontiveros also said the government should demand the ₱50 billion unpaid taxes from Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO).
She also urged the government to reassess its decision to allow POGOs to operate once the lockdown is lifted. The online gambling firms have been involved in multiple allegations of crimes linked to their operation, such as corruption, money laundering, bribery, tax evasion, kidnapping and sex trafficking.
For its part, the Chinese embassy maintained that China and the Philippines are “working closely” to address the threats of the coronavirus disease. It also assured that China will provide assistance “to the best of [its] ability” in the fight against the pandemic.

Meanwhile, German newspaper Bild has sent the Chinese President an invoice of £130billion reparations for the economic damages brought by the coronavirus disease.
She emphasized that China had to know long ago that Corona is highly infectious but they don’t let the world know about that.

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