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Newsline: Philippines ambassador to China dies

The Philippines’ ambassador to China, Jose Santiago “Chito” Sta. Romana, has died while in quarantine for COVID-19. He was 74. Sta. Romana was a longtime resident of China and had been a correspondent for ABC News prior to being appointed ambassador in 2016. He was among a small group of Filipinos who visited China during the rule of Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos and were subsequently barred from returning home. He remained in China from 1971 until Marcos’ toppling in 1986 and joined ABC in 1989, the year Beijing was rocked by pro-democracy protests centered on Tiananmen Square that were crushed by the military. The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs announced Sta. Romana’s passing on Tuesday. No word was given on the cause of death. (https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/philippines-ambassador-china-chito-sta-romana-dies-84160713) Philippine media reports said he died the day before in the city of Huangshan, where he had been completing his 21-day quarantine after returning from the Philippines with Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin Jr., who visited China for talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Sta. Romana was appointed ambassador to China in 2016 “in recognition of his deep knowledge of China’s history and people,” the department said in a statement.

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