Fri, Feb 24, 2012 - Page 1 News List

Taipei reaching out despite PRC: official

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff Reporter

Taiwan will stay the course seeking participation in the international community, even though Beijing recently repeated that it was against allowing the nation international exposure and space, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official said yesterday.

“In terms of diplomacy, China’s position has been consistent, but Taiwan will do what it should do,” Department of International Organizations Deputy Director-General Joseph Chow (周進發) told a regular press briefing.

Chow made the remarks in response to Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Hong Lei (洪磊), who on Wednesday said that Beijing opposed Taiwan engaging in exchanges with officials of Beijing’s diplomatic allies, signing agreements with other countries in an official governmental capacity, or joining international organizations that require statehood.

Hong’s comments came after Taiwanese officials called for renewed efforts by Taipei to formalize its relations with the international community.

Representative to the UK Shen Lyu-shun (沈呂巡) recently said in a speech in London that Taipei is endeavoring to make the ties with its non-diplomatic allies official and to join inter-governmental organizations and specialized agencies at the UN, as well as arrange visits to European countries by Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Sheng-chung (林聖忠) to negotiate on an economic deal with the EU.

“The Republic of China is an important country on the international stage in the fields of economics and technology. We wish to make more of a contribution to the international community. The participation of the 23 million people of Taiwan in international organizations also serves the interests of the whole international community,” Chow said.

Hong had simply repeated what Beijing has said in the past and he did not offer any new cross-strait diplomatic policies, Chow said.

Drawing from President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) inauguration address in 2008, Chow said that the cross-strait relationship could continue to develop “only when Taiwan is not isolated internationally,” and he urged China to face the reality of the existence of the Republic of China so that the two sides could create a win-win situation.

Taipei would not choose to refrain from making its case at international organizations in its official capacity just because of Beijing’s opposition, but rather it would adopt an approach that best fits Taiwan’s participation in international organizations in accordance with their respective constitutions, regulations and functions, he said.

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