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DOH pointing to "One China Policy" but President Duterte say" One China Policy has nothing to do"


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte rejected on Thursday of Taiwan's appealed to lift the ban on its citizens visiting the country.

On Thursday, Panelo changed his stand, attributing it to Mr. Duterte, whom he quoted as saying the One China policy had “nothing to do” with the expansion of the ban to cover Taiwan.“I asked him (Mr. Duterte). He said, ‘Nothing to do with it. It’s the safety.’ He was very emphatic. ‘It transcends orders if the health of our people is at stake,’” Panelo said, quoting the President.

Taiwan said it was considering countermeasures if the Philippines did not lift the ban it imposed this week to contain the spread of the coronavirus, but Duterte said the restriction stays "until the danger persists".

But according to Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo, Taiwan is included in the ban because the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes it as part of China.

“If you look at the WHO map and the number of cases that they have, Taiwan is included in China. Since we have a temporary travel restriction and ban on China, then Taiwan is included,” Domingo said in a press briefing.

“I think the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has made it clear to us that we have a One-China policy,” he also said. The said policy is enclosed in the 1975 Joint Communique between the Chinese and Philippine governments, which “respects the position of the Chinese Government that there is but one China and that Taiwan is an integral part of Chinese territory.”

Domingo also said that Taiwan has always been included in the expanded travel ban ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte to quell the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou told reporters in Taipei that Taiwan had a planned response if the Philippines maintained its ban, but she declined to elaborate, saying a decision was awaited from the Philippines government.

"We will continue to communicate with the Philippines and explain that this is a one-sided and wrong decision by the Philippines' health ministry, which has already affected the relationship between the two countries of Taiwan and the Philippines," Ou said.

Taiwan has repeatedly complained that, with its 18 virus cases compared with some 60,000 in China, it is unfair for the WHO to lump them together with China and mislead other countries into believing Taiwan faces an equally dire epidemic.

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