MANILA -- With criticisms the Duterte administration is facing over its campaign against illegal drugs, China on Monday came in its defense, asking the international community to "respect" the country's sovereignty and view its programs objectively.

"Relevant sides of the international community, including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, shall respect the sovereignty of the Philippines and the will of its people, view the outcomes of the Philippines' fight against drug and terrorism in a comprehensive, unbiased and objective way, and support its efforts to move forward its human rights cause in light of its national conditions," China Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said Monday in a press briefing in Beijing.

"As an agency of the UN, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is expected to fulfill its duties within the framework set out by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter," he added.

Citing President Rodrigo R. Duterte's repeated criticisms of human rights defenders and the inclusion of UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz in a terrorist list, UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Friday suggested that Duterte needs to undergo a “psychiatric evaluation”.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has earlier said that Tauli-Corpuz was included in the list not because of her position as special rapporteur but due to her alleged links to the Ilocos-Cordillera Regional Committee (ICRC) of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army.

In the same press briefing, Lu said "anyone without bias can see that President Duterte has made positive efforts since assuming office to combat drug-related crimes, as well as terrorism, develop the national economy, and improve people's livelihood, which have effectively protected and promoted the Philippine people's fundamental rights to security and development".

Since the turnaround of Chinese-Philippine relations in 2016 following tensions over disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea, Beijing has shown support for the current administration's programs. (PNA)