CHINA critic and former Philippines foreign secretary Albert del Rosario was blocked from entering Hong Kong this morning – hours after accusing Beijing of lying over the sinking of a Phillipine fishing boat.
Ramos bids to restore friendly ties between China and the Philippines
Mr del Rosario was held at the airport despite being given no information about his status or wrongdoing by Chinese officials before returning to Manila six hours later. Immigration personnel told him it was an unspecified “case” – but the Phillipine Presidential spokesman said that the former foreign minister may have misused his diplomatic passport. Amid rising tensions between the two nations in the South China Sea, Mr del Rosario earlier today criticised China’s call for a joint probe into the sinking of a Filipino fishing boat.
Beijing suggested that both nations should look into the incident, in which a Chinese trawler struck and sunk a smaller Filipino boat in disputed waters.
However, the former minister said that doing so would “be the worst news yet”.
He added: “It redounds to a potential partnership between one party which is out to seek the truth, against another party who is out to suppress it.
“We should really feel sorry for our poor fishermen, as the ultimate product of a joint probe with Beijing is expected to be no more than a bowl of fruit salad.
“Can we please not insult the intelligence of our people?”
Hours later, he found himself held at a Hong Kong airport.
He said: “I keep reminding them that I’m traveling on a diplomatic passport and according to the Vienna Convention.
“They have no right to hold me.”