Sat, Aug 20, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Diplomats should choose their words carefully: Yang

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff Reporter

Minister of Foreign Affairs Timothy Yang (楊進添) yesterday urged the nation’s diplomats to be more judicious and cautious with their words and actions.

“I have been telling colleagues at the ministry that they have to behave well, have sense and walk a fine line all the time,” Yang said when asked to respond to a report in yesterday’s -Chinese-language Apple Daily.

Eighty-one members of the nation’s overseas diplomatic missions and representative offices gathered in Taipei this week for a three-day meeting, hosted by the ministry.

The Apple Daily reported that during one of the meeting’s sessions on Thursday, a representative to a country in Africa said that Taiwan should tout the fact that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has been a long-term blood donor and has offered to donate his body for medical research after his death, which could be a front on which the country could promote its soft power.

The representative said an article regarding Ma’s record of blood donation and commitment to organ donation had been placed in a publication issued by the representative office. The representative also encouraged his colleagues to follow his example.

The representative was quoted by the Apple Daily as making an analogy between Ma’s body and that of an “emperor’s” and said it could be a useful point on which to promote Taiwan’s soft power.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Shen Lyu-hsun (沈呂巡), criticized the comments and was quoted by the newspaper as chiding the representative and urging him “to make sensible suggestions.”

Yang yesterday said the comments offered by the representative were “inappropriate.”

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