Taiwan tensions not tackled in Cabinet meeting, but situation under close watch — Palace

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 5)— The escalating tensions in Taiwan were not tackled during the latest Cabinet meeting of the new administration, Malacañang said Friday, but vowed that authorities are closely monitoring the situation on the ground.

“Hindi po siya kasama sa agenda kanina,” Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said in a media briefing.

“Ukol sa international relations, parati po tayong nagi-ingat. Ngunit mino-monitor po nang matindi ang sitwasyon,” she added.

[Translation: It was not part of the agenda earlier. When it comes to international relations, we’re always trying to be careful. But we’re closely monitoring the situation.]

Chinese forces have started to conduct military drills in waters near Taiwan — as Beijing made good on its threats to retaliate against Taipei following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trip.

Beijing has also announced sanctions against Pelosi and her immediate family members over her “provocative visit” to the self-governed island, which China claims as part of its sovereign territory.

Not yet in crisis mode

Despite this new development, National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos maintained the Philippines is not yet in "crisis mode."

"I think the US doesn't want to go to war nor China… But we just hope na walang accidental na mangyari na pwedeng mag-spark ng conflict (there will be no accidents that would spark a conflict)," Carlos said in a radio interview on the same day.

Carlos also suggested for the country to continue engaging with both parties.

Meanwhile, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) vowed that the government would be ready to assist overseas Filipino workers in Taiwan, noting that there are crisis management protocols in place.

OWWA Administrator Hans Cacdac told CNN Philippines that labor attaches were also ordered to be “observant” and to get in touch with Filipino community leaders in the area.