President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) foreign policy has been constrained by China and his view of Beijing’s refusal to poach three Taiwanese allies as an “achievement” was “beyond imagination,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators said yesterday.
“It’s a shame that the President takes China’s benefaction as an achievement of his administration,” DPP Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) told a press conference.
Ma said in Greater Tainan on Sunday that “at least one of Taiwan’s allies offered to establish official diplomatic ties with China, but was turned down,” adding that government intelligence showed at least three allies had tried to do so.
The three countries were reported to be Panama, Nicaragua and Paraguay.
The incident showed the “diplomatic truce” his administration advocated has been successful in stopping blind competition for allies from both sides, Ma said.
The diplomatic truce is actually a “diplomatic shock” in which Taiwanese diplomats have been doing nothing but providing assistance to overseas Taiwanese, Tsai said.
China never stops its oppression of Taiwan, Legislator Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津) said, adding that Taiwan has still been listed by numerous international organizations as a province of China and its international participation has been still limited by Beijing.
A Chinese government spokesman also publicly said that China opposed Taiwan’s negotiations with other countries for free-trade agreements because Taiwan is not a sovereign country, she said.
“With all these cases, President Ma still tells us that China had expressed goodwill,” she said.
Three more diplomatic allies mean nothing to China, which was why it had declined the offers, she said, adding that China’s refusal was like “crocodile tears” and it should not be seen as an achievement.
DPP Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) said Ma and China had likely agreed to “freeze” the battle for diplomatic allies.
Ma’s campaign spokesperson, Lee Jia-fei (李佳霏), said Ma has dramatically improved Taiwan’s relations with the US since taking office and has helped Taiwan to participate in the World Health Assembly and to sign the Government Procurement Agreement.
The number of countries that grant Taiwan visa-free treatment has also increased from 54 under the DPP administration to 117 under Ma, she said.
“Those are concrete results of the Ma administration’s effort. Those are fruitful results of Ma’s foreign policy that benefit people’s lives,” she said.