No joint centenary: Sheng
Taiwan yesterday ruled out joining China in celebrating the upcoming centenary of the establishment of the Republic of China (ROC), an event hailed as an historical milestone by both Taipei and Beijing. “Given the differences between the two sides, it would be unlikely for us to host joint celebrations,” Council for Cultural Affairs Minister Emile Sheng (盛治仁) said in English to a group of foreign reporters in Taipei. Taiwan is gearing up for the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the ROC, which was on Jan. 1, 1912, after the collapse of the Qing Dynasty. Sheng said the differences in political systems in China and Taiwan would make joint celebrations impossible.
Global inclusion sought
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday solicited the support of allies in Taiwan’s bids for participation in UN activities. Taiwan hopes to take part in events hosted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and in meetings on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Ma said. He addressed Taiwan’s bids for access to the two world bodies during a meeting at the Presidential Office with visiting UN representatives of Palau, Tuvalu, Belize and El Salvador. Those nations are among the 23 countries that maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Speaking of the ICAO bid, Ma said Taiwan has among the busiest air traffic in East Asia and should have closer contacts with the civil aviation regulatory body, as such links would facilitate the development of the industry and its efforts to promote air safety. In terms of the UNFCCC, Ma said that in the face of extreme weather trends that have made Taiwan more vulnerable to natural disasters, the country would very much like to have UNFCCC links.