Sun, Feb 01, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Indonesia denies having any pact with Taiwan

AFP , JAKARTA

Indonesia's Manpower Minister, Jacob Nuwa Wea, has denied a statement by a Taipei official that he had met his Taiwanese counterpart, the official Antara news agency said yesterday.

Jakarta adheres to a "one-China" policy, Nuwa Wea said.

An official with the Taipei Economic and Trade Office, Derek Hsu, said on Friday that Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) Chairwoman Chen Chu (陳菊) and Nuwa Wea had held talks in Jakarta on Thursday and agreed on an end to Taiwan's ban on recruiting new Indonesian workers.

"As a matter of fact, it is impossible for me to meet any Taiwanese minister," Nuwa Wea was quoted as saying by Antara.

"We cannot sign any MoU [memorandum of understanding] with Taiwan because Indonesia has no diplomatic relations with Taiwan and adheres to the one-China principle," he said.

Taiwan suspended the recruitment of workers from Indonesia in August 2002 after many Indonesian workers absconded from their employers. Taiwan accused Jakarta of failing to face up to the problem.

Hsu said Chen agreed that Jakarta could send new workers by March.

The ban has been complicated by convoluted bilateral relations, which turned sour in late 2002 when President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was forced to abort a clandestine visit to the central Java city of Yogyakarta after a media leak.

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