Donald Lee (李傳通), Taiwan’s representative to the Philippines, who was recalled last month amid a deportation row, returned to Manila yesterday to continue his service after the dust settled on the dispute.
Lee was accompanied by Antonio Basilio, the Philippine representative to Taiwan, on his flight from Taipei to Manila.
Dozens of executives of -Taiwanese expatriate and trade associations in Manila greeted Lee at the airport. A legion of Philippine journalists also turned out to cover his return, but neither Lee nor Basilio issued any formal statements.
During his meeting with Taiwanese expatriates afterwards, Lee said he was grateful for their support during the rift over the Philippines’ deportation of 14 Taiwanese fraud suspects to China despite Taiwan’s strong protest.
“The incident let us know how united our expatriates are,” Lee said, adding that he hoped Taiwan-Philippines relations would become closer through concerted effort.
Asked about the current state of relations between the two countries, Lee said ties had returned to normal.
Lee was recalled on Feb. 7 after the Philippines declined to apologize for what Taiwan called its mishandling of matters involved in the deportation of the 14 Taiwanese to China on Feb. 2.
In retaliation, Taiwan’s government imposed new restrictions on visa processing for Philippine citizens seeking to work in Taiwan.
On March 15, Taiwan lifted those restrictions after the Philippine government punished its senior immigration officials over the issue.
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