Wed, May 28, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan delegation says Paris meeting is free of hostility

By Jenny W. Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

There was no apparent hostility between China and Taiwan at this year's annual World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) meeting, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, adding that the relatively dispute-free atmosphere at the Paris-based conference could be representative of future interaction between the two governments on matters regarding Taiwan’s international space.

Lily Hsu (徐儷文), deputy head of the ministry’s Department of International Organization, said that despite the fact Taiwan was downgraded from a full member to a regional non-sovereign member last year because of Beijing’s interference and forced to use the designation “Chinese Taipei,” no political disputes had arisen since the annual OIE conference commenced on Sunday.

“Taiwan will do its very best to safeguard its right to participate in the organization,” Hsu said.

The 172-member OIE is the most authoritative assembly of intergovernmental organizations promoting animal healthcare.

The organization meets annually in Paris and this year’s weeklong conference will run through Saturday.

Watson Sun (宋華聰), chief of the Council of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine, headed this year’s Taiwanese delegation.

“From an infectious disease prevention perspective, it is necessary for Taiwan to have full access to the OIE. The goal of our delegation is to secure Taiwan’s equal participation in all OIE-related activities,” Hsu said, adding that Sun had received equal treatment as his Chinese counterparts at this year’s meeting.

She said the OIE Web site listed Taiwan as one of the 172 members, even though its status was reduced last year, despite Taiwan’s vehement protest.

This year’s OIE conference would be a good occasion to see how Taiwan could interact with Beijing in future international events while protecting its national dignity. It is also a good opportunity to see if Beijing will alter its traditionally ruthless sabotage of Taiwan’s international space, she said.

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