Thu, Mar 13, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Relations ‘stable’: official

By Chen Hui-ping and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Security reports saying that Taiwan’s relations with its diplomatic allies were “vacuous” and subject to China’s diplomatic chokehold serve a “warning,” but ties to the nation’s 22 diplomatic allies remain stable, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) said yesterday.

“We are still working with our allies on cooperation projects, and the claim of relations having been eroded to a ‘vacuous’ state is not true,” Lin said at a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense committee yesterday.

The claim that the nation’s foreign relations are in decline was stated in a classified report submitted by National Security Bureau (NSB) Director Tsai Der-sheng (蔡得勝) to the committee at a closed-door meeting on Monday, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) said.

The report said China is actively contacting Taiwan’s allies and furthering its relationships with them, which was threatening to make Taipei’s relations with its allies “vacuous” and holding Taiwan in a diplomatic chokehold.

As Tsai wrote in the report, China is trying to bribe Taiwan’s diplomatic allies by offering economic incentives to break diplomatic relations with Taipei, DPP Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said.

“The Gambia is not a singular incident,” Tsai Huang-liang said, referring to the African country cutting ties with Taiwan in November last year.

Lin said yesterday morning that the report was a sound warning, but that the ministry has kept relations between the nation and its 22 diplomatic allies stable.

With China on the rise, many of Taiwan’s allies have stepped up economic ties with China, but their ties to the nation remain stable and unharmed, Lin said.

“We will be keeping an ear to the ground,” Lin added.

Additional reporting by Tsao Po-yen

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