THE Department of National Defense (DND) apologized on Monday to China for using the wrong logo of the communist country’s Ministry of National Defense on a tarpaulin banner that was raised during a turnover ceremony of firearms and ammunition by the Chinese government to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) last week.
In a statement, DND Spokesman Arsenio Andolong said the agency issued an official apology to the People’s Republic of China through Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua.
Andolong also admitted that the technical lapse was a “grievous but purely unintentional” mistake.
“We are fully cognizant and grateful for the support that the government of the People’s Republic of China has been providing us and we reiterate that the DND and the AFP strictly adhere to the ‘One China Policy’ as espoused by the Philippine government,” he said.
The DND also hopes that the error would not affect the relationship between Manila and Beijing.
“It is our sincere hope that this very unfortunate incident will not affect the cooperative and friendly relations between our two countries which has grown warmer over the past year,” Andolong said.
During the handover ceremony on October 5 attended by Zhao, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and AFP Chief Eduardo Año, the banner showed the logo used by the Republic of China’s Ministry of Defense, which is only recognized in Taiwan.
After the Chinese civil war ended in 1949 between the Chinese Communist Party and the Republic of China, the Chinese communists took control of the mainland and overthrew the government led by then president Chiang Kai-Shek.
Chiang and supporters of his Kuomintang (Nationalist People’s Party) government fled to Taiwan also in 1949 after being defeated by the Chinese communist army under the leadership of Mao Zedong. DEMPSEY REYES