Wed, Jul 07, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan's allies to be excluded from Chinese aid plan

AFP , BEIJING

Developing countries that have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan can forget about participating in a new China-sponsored development program, a ranking Chinese official said yesterday.

Vice Commerce Minister Wei Jianguo (魏建國) delivered the message in Beijing as he unveiled the South-South Cooperation project, referring to assistance under the UN system from one developing country to another.

"Only those countries which have established diplomatic relations with China can participate in the project," he told a briefing.

This means 27 countries that have formal ties with Taipei will be automatically excluded from benefiting from the projects, he said.

"Our attitude is very clear," he said. "Countries that haven't formally established relations with the Taiwan authorities can participate in activities under the South-South cooperation mechanism."

Liberia switched its recognition to China last year with only the tiny island of Kiribati going the other way, joining the Vatican, 14 Latin American nations, seven in Africa and four in the Pacific in recognizing Taiwan.

The Chinese program unveiled yesterday foresees development assistance coming in various forms, including increased participation from local companies investing in Third World countries.

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