Wed, Aug 31, 2011 - Page 8 News List

Visa waivers are not diplomacy

By Li Chung-chih 李中志

Despite this, a Taiwanese law professor said in an article this month that Taiwan would under no circumstances be offered EU visa exemption if China started citing the “one China” principle. However, is the US not offering Hong Kong visa-exempt status because Hong Kong denies the “one China” principle? Moreover, if China really is so unreasonable, then the government should provide concrete evidence to allow us to see Beijing’s true colors.

The visa-waiver issue is very simple and there is no need for a war of words. When Taiwanese tourists behave well abroad, other countries will naturally offer visa waivers to attract more Taiwanese. This is an honor that belongs to the public as a whole. Politicians love to claim merits and shift blame, and we are not surprised.

However, as the government brags about the accomplishment of its “flexible diplomacy,” it is just trying to find another way to say “open sesame.” Who is it fooling, the public or itself?

Li Chung-chih is an associate professor at Illinois State University’s School of Information Technology.

Translated by Eddy Chang

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