China has declined a visit from Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay to ask for mercy for a Filipino on death row, and said the man’s execution would not be delayed, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.
The 35-year-old from the Philippines is scheduled to be executed on Thursday, after he was caught at an airport in 2008 trying to smuggle about 1.5kg of heroin into China from Malaysia.
“We have also been informed that the Chinese side is unable to arrange the visit of Vice President Binay to China at this time. We respect the Chinese law and the verdict of the Supreme People’s Court,” the department said in a statement.
“We are still hoping that Vice President Binay [will] be allowed by the Chinese authorities to go to Beijing to personally hand over the letter of appeal of [Philippine] President [Benigno] Aquino,” it added.
In a separate statement, Binay said: “I remain optimistic. I feel that Beijing has not totally closed its doors to my visit so I can personally hand over the appeal of President Aquino.”
The Philippines said earlier this week that it planned to send Binay to China to ask that the man’s death sentence be commuted to life imprisonment.
Binay went on a mission to China in February to save three Filipino drug mules from death row and secured a temporary stay of execution, but Beijing went ahead with the executions a month later.
That triggered widespread condemnation in the Catholic Philippines, where capital punishment was abolished in 2006.
The Czech Republic’s Senate on Wednesday passed a resolution that supports a possible visit by the senate president to Taiwan. The resolution, initiated by Czech Senator Pavel Fischer, was passed with 50 votes in favor, one against and one abstention. The resolution blasts Beijing for having its Prague embassy send a letter to former Czech Senate president Jaroslav Kubera earlier this year threatening repercussions for Czech businesses if he visited Taiwan. The resolution shows the Senate’s support for a visit to Taiwan by Senate President Milos Vystrcil, accompanied by Czech business representatives, as the visit would be in the diplomatic long-term interests
The government and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday both spoke out against plans by the Chinese government to enact a national security law in Hong Kong. Chinese officials yesterday confirmed that the National People’s Congress would review a bill “on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to safeguard national security.” The Presidential Office said that the announcement was evidence that the “one country, two systems” framework fundamentally clashes with democratic freedoms. The de-escalation of tensions between Hong Kong and Beijing relies on the Chinese government’s willingness to respond to Hong Kongers’ demands,
STRONGER DEFENSES: The announcement could be considered tacit US support for the nation’s indigenous arms manufacturing program, Joseph Wu told lawmakers Just hours after President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) inauguration on Wednesday, the US Department of State’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced in Washington the possible sale of 18 MK-48 Heavy Weight Torpedoes to Taiwan. Reacting to the announcement, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday told a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee that the ministry applauded the US move, which would help to uphold the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). The TRA states that the US should “provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character … to maintain the capacity of the US to resist any resort
NPP WARNING: The NPP’s chairman said that a security law proposed by Beijing means it has renounced its promise to maintain ‘one country, two systems’ in HK The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) yesterday proposed changing the law to provide protection for those seeking political asylum. China at the opening of the National People’s Congress in Beijing on Thursday introduced a draft security law for Hong Kong to ban treason, subversion and sedition, with a review expected next week. TPP caucus whip Jang Chyi-lu (張其祿) said that the party is concerned about democracy advocates in Hong Kong and has taken action to support them. The party has proposed an amendment to Article 18 of the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例), which stipulates that the government can offer