Fri, Oct 11, 2002 - Page 3 News List

Mongolian office to ride into Taipei by end of the year

BILATERAL TIES While Taiwan has already opened a representative office in Ulan Bator, the Mongolian side has yet to establish a presence here

STAFF WRITER

Mongolia expects to open a representative office in Taipei by the end of the year, a high-level Mongolian official told President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) during a secret visit to Taiwan last week, the United Evening News reported yesterday.

According to the newspaper report, a chief adviser to Mongolian Prime Minister Nambar Enkhbayar secretly met with Chen at the Presidential Office on Oct. 3 to discuss plans for the office and exchange opinions on Taiwan's recruitment of Mongolian workers.

In an effort to promote bilateral relations, Taiwan and Mongolia reached an agreement to open representative offices in each other's capitals starting Sept. 1. However, no action has been taken by the Mongolian side since Taiwan opened its representative office in Ulan Bator early last month.

According to the newspaper, the adviser said that the Mongolian representative office will be opened in December and that some Mongolian officials have already inspected several possible locations in Taipei City.

The adviser also revealed that his government intends to set up the office in suburban Taipei due to the relatively high rent in Tienmu's ambassadorial district.

The chief adviser, accompanied by the National Security Council of Mongolia's secretary-general, also visited Minister of Foreign Affairs Eugene Chien (簡又新) and Council of Labor Affairs Chairwoman Chen Chu (陳菊) last week to discuss the recruitment of Mongolian workers.

The evening newspaper also reported that Prime Minister Enkhbayar is likely to visit Taiwan at a time deemed appropriate.

In response to the report, National Policy Adviser to the President Lee Tsai-fang (李在方) yesterday said that Chen may also visit Mongolia once its office is officially opened.

Enkhbayar is currently on a two-day visit to Singapore. He met with Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong (吳作棟) yesterday to promote cooperation between the two countries.

The Mongolian prime minister is accompanied by Minister for Finance and Economy Chuktern Ulaan, Food and Agriculture Minister Darjaa Nasanjargal, as well as other senior officials and a delegation of businessmen.

Long a province of China, Mongolia declared its independence in 1921 with Soviet backing. After the Ministry of the Interior's recent decision to exclude Mongolia from the official ROC map, on Oct. 3, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Taiwan recognizes Mongolia as an independent country -- 81 years after Mongolia declared its independence.

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