China yesterday warned its nationals to avoid visiting the Philippines, citing a foiled bomb plot against the Chinese embassy in Manila and the danger of criminal gangs.
“Given the worsened security situation in the Philippines, the consular department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs urges Chinese citizens not to travel to the Philippines for the time being,” a ministry statement said.
The warning came after three men were arrested last week over an alleged plot to bomb the Chinese embassy, the international airport and the business premises of ethnic Chinese tycoons.
In Beijing, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying (華春瑩) urged the Philippine government to do more to protect Chinese citizens.
Aside from the alleged bomb plot, Hua cited “criminal gangs” who had targeted Chinese citizens and businesses.
Philippine Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said last week that the bomb plot may be linked to a fringe politician who had been involved in a string of anti-Chinese protests. However, the Philippine military dismissed the alleged bomb plot, calling the fringe politician a crank who posed no real danger and saying his “bombs” were merely firecrackers. Police arrested him, but then quickly released him.
Diplomatic relations between China and the Philippines have been extremely tense in recent years due to a dispute over competing territorial claims in the South China Sea.
In response to the travel warning, the Philippine Foreign Ministry released a statement saying it had been liaising with Chinese diplomats to ease their concerns.
Many foreign governments warn their nationals to avoid large parts of the southern Philippines due to the threats of kidnapping, but there are no blanket advisories similar to China’s to avoid the entire country.
The travel warning was released just before reports emerged that armed men abducted an 18-year-old Chinese man on the strife-torn southern island of Mindanao late on Thursday.
Senior Inspector Leo Castillo said the gunmen had not been identified, but it was believed to be another case of kidnapping for ransom, a common crime in the south committed by Muslim rebels. Castillo said the parents of the abductee, a store manager, were Chinese nationals.
However, a spokeswoman at the Chinese embassy in Manila said yesterday that diplomats were still trying to confirm if the abducted man was a Chinese citizen.
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
China would attack Taiwan if there is no other way of stopping it from becoming independent, Chinese General Li Zuocheng (李作成) said yesterday. Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 15th anniversary of China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, Li, who is chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Central Military Commission, left the door open to using force. The 2005 law is China’s legislative basis for military action against Taiwan. “If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
CASH BOOST: Foreign spouses with residency permits are also eligible for the coupons, which can be bought at post offices or linked to digital payment options Stimulus coupons for Taiwanese and foreign spouses with residency permits can be ordered starting on July 1 and can be used from July 15 to Dec. 31, the Executive Yuan said yesterday. Aimed at boosting domestic spending, the coupons worth NT$3,000 (US$100.04) are to cost NT$1,000. “For our consumers, this is a very good deal as they get three times as much value for their money,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told a news conference in Taipei. While the coupons are to have a wide range of uses, including at department stores, restaurants, book stores, night markets, beauty and hair salons, hotels, and to