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Philippines official seeks to expel Chinese Ambassador

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On September 20, 2002, Hernando Perez, Justice Minister of Philippines, expressed that he would try to expel Chungui Wang, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines, because he felt personally threatened by Wang. In a verbal dispute over the issue of 122 Chinese fishermen allegedly invading the Philippines waters, Wang, according to this Justice chief, shouted at him and waved fist to punch his desk.

Perez will ask the Foreign Ministry to list Wang as “unwelcome.” At the same time, this Justice chief announced that the earlier agreement to set free 122 Chinese fishermen detained by the Philippines would be no longer valid because Beijing violated the agreement and would not allow those fishermen to admit their crime and pay for the fine.

Last week, Peres announced that while Li Peng, Chairman of the People’s Congress of China, was visiting the Philippines, the Chinese Embassy agreed to let those fishermen acknowledge their illegal fishing and make payments for the fine. But now Perez charged that the Chinese Embassy demands immediate release of these fishermen unconditionally. According to this Justice chief, the Chinese Ambassador even questioned why China should pay for the legal counsel fees for those detained fishermen.

The Chinese Embassy denied this allegation and the accusation of attempt to threaten the Justice chief. These 122 Chinese fishermen have been caught and detained on different occasions; some of them have been detained for over half a year.

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