Fri, Feb 18, 2005 - Page 3 News List

France refused to grant visa to a top MAC official

ECONOMIC PRIORITIES?The foreign ministry said that David Huang was not able to get a visa, although other members of the government's European delegation were

By Melody Chen  /  STAFF REPORTER

France refused to issue a visa to Mainland Affairs Council Vice Chairman David Huang (黃偉峰) when he was touring Europe last month to lobby for support against China's proposed anti-secession law, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

France feared a visit by Huang might affect deals between Airbus and the Chinese airline China Southern and the Chinese aviation supplies organization CASC. So Paris rejected Huang's visa application, sources said.

"We express regret over the situation. Communication can improve mutual understanding," ministry spokesman Michel Lu (呂慶龍) said yesterday.

According to Lu, the French government issued visas to other members of the delegation.

"Members of the delegation applied for visas separately. Except for Huang, the other delegation members did go to France," he said.

The French Institute in Taipei declined to comment on the issue yesterday. Last month Airbus announced the sale of five A380 super jumbo planes to China Southern.

In a bid to stop China from passing the anti-secession law next month, the ministry sent three delegations to Europe, Japan and the US last month.

Huang, along with Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Michael Kau (高英茂) and former Cabinet secretary- general Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳), led the delegation that traveled to Finland, Norway, the Czech Republic, Germany and Belgium.

Huang told the press in Germany last month that China would force Taiwan to enact its own legislation against the anti-secession law if Beijing passed the bill.

"Tension across the Taiwan Strait may rise as a consequence," he said.

Meanwhile, Lu refuted a rumor that Kau was unable to go to London because the British government rejected his visa application.

"The vice minister canceled the UK leg of his trip because he was unable to arrange a proper time to meet with the people he wanted to meet," Lu said.

"The British government did not refuse to issue Kau a visa," he said.

This story has been viewed 4387 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top