Sun, May 06, 2012 - Page 3 News List

President Ma is neglecting foreign relations: pundits

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter

Foreign affairs experts yesterday accused President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of neglecting Taiwan’s foreign relations under his so-called “diplomatic truce” policy.

Kuo Shih-nan (郭時南), the representative to Singapore under the former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government, said that under former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) administration, Taiwan applied to join the UN every year to highlight that Taiwan is a sovereign country.

Taiwan’s allies also cooperated with it and voiced support for Taiwan’s UN bid, which the nation used as a core policy to fight for a better international status and maintain close friendship with its allies, Kuo said at a forum on Ma’s foreign policy hosted by the Taiwan Association of University Professors.

However, the Ma administration has not only not sought to join more international groups, but has also neglected its friendship with allies, Kuo said.

Ma has only visited the nation’s allies in the South Pacific and Africa once and he only spent seven days with six allies in the South Pacific, meaning only a few hours in each country, Kuo said.

“Even Taiwan’s ambassadors in those allies told me privately that Ma did not pay much attention to allies in the South Pacific area,” he said.

Liu Shih-chung (劉世忠), a researcher at the Taiwan Brain Trust think tank and a former aid to Chen, said that by contrast, Chen valued the nation’s friendship with allies. Chen visited Taiwan’s allies in the South Pacific three times and in Africa twice, he said.

Chen’s administration also launched the Taiwan-African Summit and Taiwan-South Pacific Summit, Liu said.

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