China, Philippines form ally in drug war

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman asked the UNHRC to respect the Philippine government's sovereign prerogative in combating illegal drugs in its own country.

Philippines deadly drug war continues
Picture for representation Reuters

Despite the United Nations' pressure on President Rodrigo Duterte to lie low in his war campaign against drugs, the Filipino leader has found a new ally in his drug war campaign and it is China.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, asked the United Nations Human Rights-Council (UNHRC) to respect the Philippines government's sovereign prerogative in combating illegal drugs in its own country.

The UNHRC, which has a member of 45 nations, had urged the Duterte administration to address the growing number of extrajudicial killings and withdraw its plan to legislate a law on the death penalty in the Philippines.

Shuang was quoted by the Philippine Star saying, that "drugs are the common enemy for all human beings, bringing pain to many developing countries, including China, and China supports President Duterte and the Philippine government in combating drug-related crimes in accordance with the law"

Shuang also urged the international community to respect the judicial sovereignty of Philippines. He said that instead of criticizing the Filipino president, it should support the country's efforts in fighting drug-related crimes.

Apart from China, Cuba, Russia and Venezuela earlier also praised the efforts of Duterte in eliminating poverty.

For more than a decade, China and the Philippines have been at odds as both countries were claiming ownership of the resource-rich South China Sea. However, since last year diplomatic relations between the two nations have improved. In 2016, Duterte visited China and announced he is realigning himself with China and as well as Russia.

Duterte also hinted that he wanted the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to hold joint military exercises with China in Sulu - a maritime seabed known for piracy incidents.

Critics of Duterte have been challenging him to call on China to stop the Asian giants from building structures in the South China sea. However, Duterte announced that his country, and even US, is not capable of stopping the Chinese structures, according to the Philippine media.

Around 8,000 suspected illegal drug users and peddlers have already been killed since Duterte took over the office in 2016. However, the drug-related crimes still prevail in the South East Asian country. China is also helping the Philippine government to construct rehabilitation centers for drug users, who want to mend their ways.