Philippine Foreign Affairs Sec. apologizes to China for taking Mao's 'name in vain'

Teodoro Locsin stirred controversy for tweets discussing Chinese leader Mao Zedong

  2261
Portrait of Mao in Tiananmen Square with Xi Jinping standing above. Oct. 1, 2019

Portrait of Mao in Tiananmen Square with Xi Jinping standing above. Oct. 1, 2019 (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — On Sunday (Oct. 13) the Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin on Sunday (Oct. 13) issued a half-hearted apology for tweets about Mao Zedong (毛澤東) posted several days previously.

Locsin apologized for taking Mao’s name “in vain,” and suggesting his admiration of China’s accomplishments, sardonically referred to himself as the “first defender of ‘Red China.’” The tweet came in response to criticism from other tweets made over the past two weeks in which Locsin discussed Mao and China’s turbulent history.

In one tweet made Sept. 30, Locsin referred to the founder of Communist China as “Mao Che Tutung,” with “Tutung” being a pun for “burned rice” in Tagalog. In another tweet, the foreign affairs secretary mused that “unless you're a (expletive) communist then the only point is to take power and unleash a famine like Mao did.”

In his tweet on Sunday, Locsin also apologized directly to the Chinese ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua (趙鑑華) for insulting the “Great Helmsman” Mao. According to Straits Times, Locsin has a reputation for colorful language and bold statements.