Taiwanese Protest
Taiwanese fishermen protest against the Filipino government. 163.com

Taiwan “can afford” to lose the Philippines as a trading partner while its government imposes sanctions on the archipelago nation amid tensions over the shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman by the Philippine Coast Guard, a Taiwanese official said Wednesday.

Brian Su, press director at the New York-based Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office, said the Philippines failed to adequately apologize and offer compensation for the fisherman’s death.

“The Philippines is not our biggest partner in the trade organization,” Su told International Business Times.

The sanctions halt trade and academic exchanges, hiring of Filipino workers and talks between high-level officials.

“If we can do that, we can afford that, OK?” Su said in a phone interview. “We have diversified our market, we can afford that. For protecting our sovereignty, we’ve got to do that.”