Failure to agree on sugar quotas yesterday prompted President Chen Shui-bian (
"It is a pity that we have to let our differences delay the signing of the FTA," Chen said, adding that he hoped the recent trade talks with Honduras could serve as an inspiration for El Salvador.
It was unclear whether Chen was aware that, almost three decades after El Salvador and Honduras fought a short but fierce "Soccer War" that killed thousands, tensions over their disputed border are again on the rise.
Although the two countries signed a border demarcation treaty in January 1998, delays in implementing of the treaty continue due to technical difficulties.
Honduras' Congress said in a resolution late on Tuesday that the country's sovereignty was being threatened by its Central American neighbor.
Chen made the proposal to Salvadoran President Elias Antonio Saca at the Presidential Office yesterday morning.
Before his meeting with Saca, Chen honored the Salvadoran president with a 21-gun salute and military ceremony in front of the Presidential Office building.
After three rounds of consultation, Chen had originally planned to seal the trade deal yesterday, but little progress was made on the issue of sugar quotas.
Chen said he realized that Saca, who arrived in Taipei on Tuesday for a four-day visit, had planned to cancel his trip to Taiwan because of the sugar deadlock. Chen expressed his appreciation for Saca's decision to come in any case.
Chen said that signing an FTA with El Salvador was a matter of great urgency, because it would help to pave the way for the establishment of a planned science and technology park there.
Because Taiwan and El Salvador have maintained a sound political relationship, Chen said, he hoped that the negotiation process could be completed as soon as possible so that the two countries could ink the accord.
Chen said that Taiwan and Honduras had postponed signing an FTA during Honduran President Manuel Zelaya Rosales' visit to Taipei last week, also because of differences on import-export quotas.
Zelaya then proposed that both sides lay aside disputes and proceeded to sign a joint communique to strengthen bilateral ties and cooperative programs, Chen said
Despite the setback to signing an FTA, Taiwan and El Salvador are set to sign an agreement on dispatching volunteers to the Central American country, as well as an accord on agricultural cooperation.
Saca also met Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) for lunch at the Presidential Office. Their meeting mainly focused on the establishment of the science and technology park.
Under the agreement, the Salvadoran government will provide Taiwanese firms with land near the international airport for 30 years.
Saca, who leads a delegation of government officials and business leaders, attended an investment meeting organized by the Chinese International Economic Cooperation Association yesterday afternoon to solicit local businesses interested in investing in El Salvador.
SOLIDARITY WITH TAIWAN: MOFA thanked US lawmakers for introducing the bill, which aims to clarify the content of UN Resolution 2758 and questions Beijing’s claim to represent Taiwan in international organizations A bipartisan coalition of US congressmen on Monday introduced legislation that aims to counter China’s claim to represent Taiwan in international organizations. “For too long, Beijing has distorted policies and procedures at the UN and related bodies to assert its sovereignty claims over Taiwan, often to the detriment of global health and security efforts,” US Representative Gerry Connolly said in a news release. “This bipartisan legislation ensures that we stand in solidarity with this critical US partner,” he said. Connolly cosponsored the bill with the three other chairs of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus — US representatives Albio Sires, Mario Diaz-Balart and Steve
STANDING TOGETHER: The allies highlighted the importance of cross-strait peace in Japan’s first statement with the US on Taiwan since it switched diplomatic recognition The US and Japan on Friday vowed to stand firm together against an assertive China, and to step up cooperation on climate change and next-generation technology as US President Joe Biden made his first summit a show of alliance unity. Waiting nearly three months for his first foreign guest due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden told Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga that his country enjoyed “our iron-clad support” on security issues and beyond. “We’re going to work together to prove that democracies can still compete and win in the 21st century,” Biden told reporters, affectionately calling the Japanese leader “Yoshi.” A joint
F-5E CRASH: The body, which was found in a reef crevice near Nanren Fishing Port in Manjhou Township, was wearing Captain Pan Ying-chun’s uniform and name tag The body of a fighter pilot who had gone missing following a mid-air collision last month was yesterday found near a fishing port in Pingtung County, the air force said. A search-and-rescue team found Captain Pan Ying-chun’s (潘穎諄) body in a reef crevice near Nanren Fishing Port (南仁漁港) in Manjhou Township (滿州), the air force said. Pan was one of two pilots involved in the accident in which two single-seat F-5E jets collided as they were changing formation during a training mission. The other pilot, Lo Shang-hua (羅尚樺), ejected from his aircraft after the collision, but he did not have any
LARGEST EVER: Police raided an illegal greenhouse in Hsinchu County and detained two men, and were looking for the operation’s suspected mastermind Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) yesterday presented the results of a raid on an illegal cannabis farm in Hsinchu County, where police seized more than 1,600 cannabis plants with an estimated street value of NT$500 million (US$17.76 million). It was the largest cannabis seizure in Taiwan, officials said. Speaking at a news conference at the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau Taipei Field Station, Tsai reiterated his ministry’s tough stance against illegal drugs and said it would continue to crack down on cannabis. Police on March 19 raided a greenhouse in the hills of Guanhsi Township (關西), a bureau official said. Two men,