Fri, Mar 29, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Lawmakers slam Beijing interference in ICAO bid

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan has the right to participate in international organizations as a sovereign nation and Beijing’s interference is unacceptable, pan-green lawmakers said yesterday in response to Beijing’s opposition to Taiwan’s efforts to seek participation in the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesperson Yang Yi (楊毅) said on Wednesday that Beijing opposed “foreign interferences that would complicate matters,” referring to the US Senate and House of Representatives’ introduction of bills earlier this month in support observer status for Taiwan at the ICAO.

Despite saying that a “reasonable arrangement” could be made regarding Taiwan’s international participation, China has never stopped squeezing Taiwan’s international space, Democratic Progressive Party China Affairs Department Director Honigmann Hong (洪財隆) said.

Citing recent examples, Hong said Beijing demanded that the Vatican sever its diplomatic ties with Taiwan and forced the withdrawal of a Taiwanese delegation from a regional security forum in Indonesia last week.

Beijing also protested to Japan over its preferential treatment for Taiwan during a memorial ceremony on the second anniversary of the East Japan earthquake, he said.

Hong said that Beijing’s hawkishness showed that President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) advocacy of a “diplomatic truce” across the Taiwan Strait was merely wishful thinking and that cross-strait exchanges under China’s framework of containment do not serve Taiwan’s long-term interests.

“China has never changed its two-handed strategy with regard to Taiwan. It has tried to win over Taiwanese by providing economic incentives while curbing Taiwan’s international presence at the same time,” Hong said.

In addition, TSU Legislator Huang Wen-ling (黃文玲) accused the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Mainland Affairs Council of malfeasance for keeping mum on Beijing’s interference.

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