The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday made an appeal to the US government not to leave Taiwan's interests behind during Chinese President Hu Jintao's (
MOFA Spokesman Michel Lu (
Lu said the government has instructed the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the US to investigate whether the meeting would damage the country's interests.
"We hope the US government will not ignore the voice of the Taiwanese people, and provide help in maintaining peace and stability across the Strait," Lu said.
Lu said the government has already expressed its concern to the US government, and will take note of developments during Hu's visit in the US.
Hu, who traveled to the US capital on a "coming out" trip in May 2002 as vice president, will visit Washington as concern mounts over China's intentions in the region.
A high-ranking official from the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), speaking on condition of anonymity, said because Hu had only recently consolidated his power, it was likely that he would seek high-profile concessions from the US on a number of issues, possibly including Taiwan.
However, the MAC official said, it did not seem likely that Bush would publicly criticize Taiwan at this time, given the recent detoriation of US-China ties.
In related news, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mark Chen (
"China has imitated Taiwan's efforts to improve its image in the US by hiring public relations firms to promote its domestic situation vis-a-vis its human rights situation, economic equality and religious freedom in the US," Chen said.
Chen made his remarks when he was interviewed by state-owned Radio Taiwan International.
The government signed a three-year contract with Barbour Griffith & Rogers on March 4 to help promote US-Taiwan relations.
"As Taiwan and the US have no diplomatic relations, the government has to make our requests to the US via public relations firms. Unlike Taiwan, the Chinese minister of foreign affairs can get in touch with his US counterpart by phone," Chen said.
While it is not necessary for China to communicate with the US through private firms, the reason why China resorted to hiring the PR firms is to cover its weaknesses, Chen said.
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