Basilio gets CA nod as envoy to China
MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Appointments approved Wednesday, December 19, the nomination of Foreign Undersecretary Erlinda Basilio as ambassador to China.
Basilio is taking the place of Sonia Brady who suffered a stroke earlier this year.
Basilio could assume the position of Manila’s chief diplomat in Beijing as early as February next year.
Sen Miriam Santiago, the Senate’ Foreign Relations Committee chairman, underscored the need to fill the vacancy “immediately” considering the sensitive nature of the overlapping claims that has soured Manila-Beijing relations.
Basilio has served as the Philippines’ lead negotiator in talks meant to address tensions with China over the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).
Asked what her appointment means, Basilio said her chief mission in China is to improve bilateral ties.
Philippine-China relations suffered a low point in April after the Philippine Navy attempted to arrest Chinese fishermen poaching in Scarborough Shoal, just off the coast of Zambales province in the northern Philippines.
The two countries have since been locked in a standoff over the rock feature, which the Philippines has traditionally controlled.
Sources also disclosed that Basilio’s de facto Chinese counterpart in the South China Sea talks, Vice Minister Fu Ying, is also likely to get a new post outside Beijing.
Fu Ying, who served as ambassador to Manila in the late 1990s, is reportedly being eyed to serve as China’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. - Rappler.com