Taiwan yesterday urged Seoul and Pyongyang to settle their differences through the use of peaceful means rather than confrontation, calling on the two to consider patterning their interactions after the recent thaw in cross-strait ties.
Tension on the peninsula has escalated in the last few weeks as North Korea plans to go ahead with a rocket launch next month disregarding appeals from the UN, the US, and neighboring countries not to do so. While Pyongyang claims it is launching a communication satellite, Seoul, Washington and Tokyo see it as a disguised long-range missile test.
“Although Taiwan is not a member of the six-party talks, we want to take the opportunity to urge both sides to [settle the dispute] with dialogue in lieu of confrontation,” said Victor Yu (于德勝), director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’s (MOFA) Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, adding that the situation in the Korean Peninsula greatly affects Taiwan’s security and economic development.
Despite an absence of a diplomatic ties since 1992, Taiwan and South Korea enjoy close commercial and cultural relations, said Yu, citing an annual bilateral trade volume of US$26 billion.
Yu said Taiwan is looking to launch a working holiday program for young adults with South Korea. The topic will be among the discussion items in trade talks to be held in South Korea later this year, he said.
The ministry yesterday also called on China to stop interfering in Taiwan’s efforts to expand trade relations with other countries, such as ASEAN members, saying Beijing remains the biggest obstacle to Taiwan forging closer economic ties with other nations.
Saying that Taiwan hopes to have more direct access to ASEAN, so far Taiwan has had to resort to a gradual “block building” method to negotiate with individual ASEAN members separately on a possible free trade agreement (FTA), Yu said.
He said that Taiwan is not waiting for approval from Beijing before launching FTA negotiations with other countries as such talks have been ongoing.
The ideal situation would be for Taiwan to become an ASEAN dialogue partner, he said, acknowledging that in the short term, the chances of Taiwan joining ASEAN plus three were extremely slim because of the organization’s refusal to accept any more dialogue partners and the current cross-strait rapprochement.
Proposed legislation in the US outlines three conditions in which Washington would be authorized to protect Taiwan were China to invade, a report said yesterday. US Representative Ted Yoho this month said he would introduce a Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which would authorize US military force if China were to invade Taiwan-controlled areas, including its outlying islands. According to a version of the bill obtained by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times), the bill lists three conditions in which a US president would be authorized to use military force to protect Taiwan: If China uses military force
The Supreme Court on Tuesday found four men guilty of attempted murder in the 2017 stabbing of Spanish surfer Ignacio Prio on a Pingtung County beach in the final ruling in the case, sentencing them to three-and-a-half to six years in prison. The defendants had appealed their convictions for attempted murder in the first and second rulings, which had also led to prison sentences ranging from three-and-a-half years to six years. The then-42-year-old Prio went to Jialeshui Beach (佳樂水) near Kenting (墾丁) on March 31, 2017, was attacked after he asked four men to remove their fishing lines from an area
Two new commuter trains are scheduled to be launched in January next year, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday. The acquisition of EMU-900 commuter train cars is part of the railway operator’s plan to replace 589 train cars that have been in operation for more than three decades. The agency has also placed orders to buy 600 intercity train cars. The first batch of 20 EMU-900 cars is to be delivered to the nation in September, although delivery might be delayed until October due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency said. The batch would be formed into two trains of 10
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s