China backs PH withdrawal from ICC

MANILA — The Chinese government expressed its support to the Philippines in its decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court, and called on the international community to “support” and “understand” President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs.

“China always maintains that the ICC should respect the sovereignty of nations, act cautiously and avoid being used as a political tool,” Chinese Foreign Minister Lu Kang said in a press briefing earlier this week.

Beijing backed Manila’s decision to pull out from the Rome Statute which established the ICC, and urged other countries to “respect” the sovereignty of nations.

The Philippines earlier served a notice of its withdrawal from the ICC through a one-page note verbale to the secretary-general of the United Nations.

“China believes that a sovereign country has the right to say no to political manipulation under the cloak of law,” Lu said.

During the presser, Lu acknowledged Duterte’s crackdown on drug-related crimes, noting that since the program was launched, the country’s public security “improved,” creating a ”sound environment for the Philippines’ economic development and its people’s peaceful life.”

“The international community should give more understanding and support to those efforts instead of pointing fingers and casting blames,” he said. (PNA)

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

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