While Taiwan’s relations with its diplomatic allies in the first half of the year were stable, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) yesterday said that he could not predict how they would develop in the latter half of the year amid speculation of Chinese interference in the run-up to January’s presidential and legislative elections.
Responding to a question by Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) at a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign and National Defense Committee, Lin said that diplomatic ties with Central and South American allies were stable and the ministry would continue to monitor developments amid rumors that Beijing might try to sabotage Taiwan’s efforts.
Lin rated the current state of diplomatic ties as a “green light,” but added that “predicting [the second half] is difficult, as it depends on the outcome of the coming elections.”
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
“Maintaining stable cross-strait relations is a major factor,” the minister added.
People First Party Legislator Thomas Lee (李桐豪) asked Lin about the failure of the nation’s allies to speak up for Taiwan during the UN general debate.
“In this year’s debate, five of our 22 allies failed to make comments in our favor, four of which — Panama, Honduras, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic — have failed to do so for three consecutive years,” Lee said.
Nicaragua and Guatemala had also been silent once or twice over the past three years, he said.
In a meeting between China and Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), eight of the CELAC states said they would like to normalize relations with China, Lee said.
“The eight includes all the countries I just mentioned,” the lawmaker said.
Lee asked how Lin would rate Taiwan’s diplomatic ties with the eight after next year. The minister replied that stable cross-strait relations are crucial to the nation’s foreign relations.
“I am talking about the present,” Lee said. “Even though we have been following a ‘viable diplomacy’ [policy] and maintaining the ‘status quo,’ [some of our allies] failed to speak up for us for three consecutive years.”
The minister said he regrets their failure to do so, “but we also understand the pressure they are subjected to [by Beijing] and other considerations that they might have.”
“Speaking for us in the UN debate is not a requisite of, and should not be equated to, the diplomatic ties we have with them,” he added.
Lee contended there still has to be a means of distinguishing those who strongly support the nation and those who do not.
“There could be some kind of redistribution of the financial aids to encourage the allies that have been more supportive of us than others,” he said.
Senior judges yesterday met to discuss the constitutionality of a law that makes adultery a criminal offense, before being ordered by Judicial Yuan President Hsu Tzong-li (許宗力) to set a date for a constitutional interpretation within the next month. The judges met to discuss Article 239 of the Criminal Code on offenses against marriage and family, after 18 judges had called for a constitutional interpretation of the issue. Taipei District Court Judge Lin Meng-huang (林孟皇) said that while he had previously tried adultery cases and never questioned the law, his feelings changed when trying a case last year involving baseball star Wang
Instead of hating the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), help change it, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said, as he urged young people to join efforts to reform the party. As the nation marked Youth Day on Sunday, Chiang said in a Facebook post that he wanted to remind people that “the KMT used to be very young.” Now, when people think of the KMT, they equate it with older people, he wrote. “Even if [the KMT] is a 100-year-old party, it must maintain a young mentality, and understand what young people want and what they want the KMT to do,” Chiang wrote.
TOO TIRED: Investigators found that the pilot’s lack of alertness could be attributed to a lack of sleep the previous night, when he had slept with his child It was a copilot’s inappropriate operation of the aircraft and the pilot’s insufficient alertness that led to a hard landing of a China Airlines cargo flight on Dec. 13, 2018, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. Flight CI6844, a Boeing 747-409 which departed from Hong Kong International Airport, landed on the pre-threshold area of runway L5 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, about 21m before the head of the runway, an investigation report said. The hard landing damaged three runway lights, but none of the personnel on board sustained any injuries, the report said. When approaching the runway, the copilot failed to maintain
DISTRUST WARRANTED? The WHO is under China’s control and has become a useless organization, while data from China cannot be trusted, a Control Yuan member said China’s demand that the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, not be referred to with names like the “Wuhan pneumonia” betrays its lack of confidence in itself, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told lawmakers yesterday. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) asked Su, during a interpellation at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, for his view on China’s attempts to redeem its national image in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These included China’s efforts to “bleach” its image, including having WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus publicly praise its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, and thanking it for buying time