Mon, Aug 07, 2006 - Page 3 News List

KMT slams government in wake of Chad fiasco

WRONG APPROACHPan-blue legislators urged the government to improve ties with China and called for the foreign minister's resignation over the latest setback

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Then minister of foreign affairs Mark Chen presents a medical donation to the biggest hospital in Chad in this file photo from last year. The hospital was originally donated by China in 1996, but Chad resumed diplomatic ties with Taiwan the following year.


Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Su Chi (蘇起) yesterday called on the government to give up its hardline stance on cross-strait affairs, which he said could protect Taiwan from having its international space squeezed by China.

Su Chi, a former chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), made the remarks in response to the abrupt severance of diplomatic relations with Chad, which came just hours before Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) was to leave for a visit to the central African country.

The government blamed China for forcing Chad to switch its diplomatic ties to Beijing. MAC Chairman Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said yesterday that China should take the entire responsibility for the impact of the move on cross-strait relations.

But Su Chi urged the government to replace confrontation with negotiation and give thought to how to enhance cross-strait exchanges. He said that improving relations with China would help to ease China's suppression of Taiwan.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister James Huang (黃志芳) was criticized by some pan-blue legislators for not being aware of Chad's intent to sever ties sooner.

KMT Legislator John Chiang (蔣孝嚴), who is a former foreign minister, said that Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials wouldn't have arranged Su's trip if they had known sooner that Chad would recognize China.

People First Party Legislator Lu Hsueh-chang (呂學樟) said that the Democratic Progressive Party government should ponder why Taiwan has been losing diplomatic allies one after another since it took office in 2000.

"China has always suppressed Taiwan's activities in the international community. It didn't just start today. The government has to figure out why [Taiwan] keeps losing diplomatic allies, rather than just shifting the blame to China all the time," Lu said.

KMT caucus whip Tsai Chin-lung (蔡錦隆) said that the party would ask Huang to resign.

"The foreign ministry failed to totally control the information that Chad had decided to switch its diplomatic recognition to China. More importantly, we haven't seen the foreign ministry come up with a plan to respond to China's oil strategy in Africa," he said.

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