Bei­jing backs Duterte’s drug war

The Myanmar Times - - World -

CHINA has of­fered its sup­port to the Philip­pines’ con­tro­ver­sial drug crack­down pushed by new Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte, which has been slammed by rights groups for en­cour­ag­ing ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings and vig­i­lante jus­tice.

“China fully un­der­stands that the Philip­pine gov­ern­ment un­der the lead­er­ship of Ro­drigo Duterte has taken it as a top pri­or­ity in crack­ing down [on] drug-re­lated crimes,” China’s em­bassy in Manila said in a state­ment.

“China has ex­pressed ex­plic­itly to the new ad­min­is­tra­tion China’s will­ing­ness for ef­fec­tive co­op­er­a­tion in this re­gard, and would like to work out a spe­cific plan of ac­tion with the Philip­pine side.”

Mr Duterte swept to power in May on a prom­ise to clamp down on drugs, and po­lice have since con­firmed killing nearly 200 peo­ple in a two-month crime blitz.

There has also been a surge in killings by anti-drug vig­i­lantes who leave vic­tims’ corpses on city streets wrapped in pack­ag­ing tape with signs ac­cus­ing them of be­ing drug deal­ers.

The state­ment from the Chi­nese em­bassy made no ref­er­ence to the killings – which have prompted a back­lash from do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional rights groups – only say­ing fight­ing drug-re­lated crimes was a “shared re­spon­si­bil­ity of all coun­tries in the world”.

Bei­jing is known to ex­e­cute drug of­fend­ers and in re­cent years has put to death several Filipinos found guilty of smug­gling nar­cotics into China.

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