TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In response to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s threat to kick out U.S. troops if the archipelago country does not receive American-made COVID-19 vaccines, Taiwan’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tien Chung-kuang (田中光) on Monday (Dec. 28) said Taiwan’s president was not the type of person to make similar remarks just to get what she wanted.
Kuomintang Legislator Ma Wen-jun (馬文君) asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday what it thought of the incident.
Deputy Minister Tien replied, "Each leader has different personality traits. Do you think a person with this type of personality trait can achieve what he wants? Good thing our leader is not like this."
Ma said that the difference in personality traits is called “negotiation.” The President of the Philippines dares to criticize any country that only uses Manila as a pawn for their own national interests, the legislator stated, per Newtalk.
All the member states in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership are China’s diplomatic countries, Ma noted. He added that if cross-strait relations are not improved, it will be difficult for Taiwan to join international organizations.
President Duterte had a meeting with Filipino COVID-19 frontline workers last Saturday, during which he said, “If the United States can't deliver at least 20 million doses of vaccine, it's best to get out. Without vaccine[s], you are not allowed to stay," according to UDN.
The Philippines currently has a Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the U.S., which provides “simplified access procedures to the Philippines” for American service members on official business as well as a set of procedures for resolving issues that may occur as a result of U.S. forces being present in the Philippines. Duterte ordered the termination of the agreement in February of this year, but the Philippine government reversed this decision in June and announced that it would maintain the agreement.