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Lawmakers ask for Taiwanese in Philippines to be protected

2012/05/14 19:10:38

Taipei, May 14 (CNA) The Foreign Ministry should take action to protect Taiwanese nationals living or traveling in the Philippines, lawmakers urged Monday, amid growing tensions between China and the Philippines over territorial claims in the disputed South China Sea.

To do so, the foreign ministry should work with the Tourism Bureau, lawmakers from the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) proposed at the Legislature's Foreign and National Defense Committee.

DPP Legislator Tsai Huang-liang asked the ministry and the bureau to help protect Taiwanese tourists from being mistakenly identified as Chinese, in an atmosphere of Philippine antagonism against China.

The proposal was later passed at the committee.

Also at the committee, Foreign Minister Timothy Yang said the ministry would keep in close contact with the bureau on the matter.

"Taiwan's representative office in Manila has reminded Taiwanese expatriates and businessmen to stay alert and take precautions," he added.

The representative office also suggested that Taiwanese people living in the Philippines stay away from the site of protest in Manila last week, Yang added.

The protest was in response to an ongoing standoff between China and the Philippines that erupted April 10 over territorial claims over the Scarborough Shoal off the coast of the Philippines.

(By Elaine Hou)