China donated vaccines to ‘soften blow’ of encroachment into PH waters — Carpio
MANILA, Philippines —Retired Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said Wednesday the donation of COVID-19 vaccines to the Philippines could be the Chinese government’s way of “softening the impact” of its encroachment into Philippine territorial waters.
He made the remark after the reported presence of 220 Chinese vessels believed to be “manned by Chinese maritime militia” at the Julian Felipe Reef in the West Philippine Sea.
“It is possible that China is encroaching on our maritime zones but softening it by sending us vaccines, by donating to us vaccines,” Carpio said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel.
“It’s part of their PR (public relations) effort to soften the blow. We should not fall for that,” he added.
He encouraged the Philippine government to accelerate its procurement of COVID-19 vaccines, particularly from Western countries, so that it would not be “independent” and “soft” on China.
“Whenever they do something like that, they soften it with appeasement. They are trying to appease us by sending us vaccines,” he said.
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