Philippines to back China’s candidate at World Court
- Manila’s foreign affairs secretary ordered the country’s UN mission to vote for Chinese judge Xue Hanqin
- The instruction may be part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to improve ties with Beijing
“You are instructed to cast the Philippine vote for the Chinese candidate to the international court of justice. That is your only clear instruction,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin said on Twitter without elaborating.
Four of the eight candidates contesting the five positions are incumbent judges whose nine-year terms are due to expire on February 5 year. One of the four is Chinese judge Xue Hanqin, who is also the vice-president of the ICJ, also known as the World Court.
A United Nations document dated June 29, 2020 showed the Philippines nominated another candidate, Japanese Judge Yuji Iwasawa, but not Xue.
The foreign ministry said the Philippines can support more than one candidate at the November 11 election, as there will be five vacancies.