The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday alleged that Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) anticipated victory in next month’s elections has prompted dozens of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies to seek relations with China.
Citing an “extremely reliable source,” KMT Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元) told a news conference in Taipei that 18 of Taiwan’s 22 diplomatic allies have been waiting outside Beijing’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to establish diplomatic ties.
“These allies worry that Tsai Ing-wen could destabilize cross-strait ties if elected president. That means we are standing to lose 18 diplomatic allies, which could deal a heavy blow to Taiwan’s international status,” Alex Tsai said.
He urged the DPP chairperson to refrain from using Taiwan’s diplomatic allies as a bargaining chip in cross-strait realtions, saying such a practice is detrimental to both Taiwan’s security and diplomacy.
The number of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies dropped from 23 to 22 in November 2013, when the Gambia abruptly severed its 18-year relationship with the nation, a decision China denied it had been involved in.
Alex Tsai said it is not that the 18 nations do not want to establish diplomatic ties with China, but China has turned them away out of respect for cross-strait relations.
“China does not want to make things too ugly for Taiwan in terms of diplomacy. It is trying to save Taiwan’s face,” Alex Tsai said.
When asked by reporters to reveal the identity of his source, Alex Tsai said he does not need to, but added the nature of his relationship with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) has transformed from contentious when he served as director of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) to communicative friendship today.
“Therefore, it is easy for me to get a sense of the future direction of cross-strait relations from him,” Alex Tsai said.
He said that he obtained the information during his visit to Beijing last week, but denied it came from the TAO.
Former KMT legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) said both former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) and former Mainland Affairs Council vice chairman Lin Chong-pin (林中斌) have said Taiwan’s diplomacy could suffer an “avalanche effect” should Tsai Ing-wen take office.
In response, DPP Lawmaker Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) accused Alex Tsai of making irresponsible threats and ignoring national interests.
“Since Tsai Ing-wen’s US visit in June, we have not heard any doubts in the international community about the chairperson’s ability to maintain peaceful cross-strait relations,” Lee said.
Rather, Tsai Ing-wen’s pledge to respect the agreements and exchanges made between leaders of both sides of the Taiwan Strait over the past two decades has won recognition from Japan and the US, Lee said.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Eleanor Wang (王珮玲) also dismissed Alex Tsai’s allegations yesterday, saying Taiwan’s ties with its 22 diplomatic allies have remained stable.
Eleanor Wang said the allies have spoken for Taiwan at several international meetings, including the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris earlier this month.
“Also, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), our deputy foreign minister, and the nation’s special envoys have frequently visited our allies to reinforce ties, such as Nicaragua, Dominica, Haiti, Guatemala, El Salvador, Sao Tome and Principe, and Burkina Faso,” Eleanor Wang said.
Eleanor Wang added that diplomatic ties are about continuity and are not susceptible to disturbance simply because of changes in domestic politics.
COSTLY TECH FAILURE: More than 25,000 files for nearly 8,000 students from 81 schools were lost when system administrators updated a server, the Ministry of Education said The academic records of 7,854 high-school students have been lost due to a hard-drive failure, the Ministry of Education said yesterday. The records were being stored at National Chi Nan University, which was commissioned by the ministry’s K-12 Education Administration to host a computer server of student portfolios that universities could access to evaluate their applications. Under a program introduced in 2019 for high-school students starting that year, students are to create portfolios to be used for university applications, which include their grades, extracurricular activities and other information related to their character and achievements. System administrators discovered that files were missing when rebooting
921 EARTHQUAKE: The magnitude 7.3 quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged The Central Weather Bureau yesterday received about 50,000 views on Facebook after it posted the data that it collected on Sept. 21, 1999, when the nation was devastated by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake. The data showed that the 921 Earthquake hit the nation at 1:47am, with the epicenter being 7km southwest of the bureau’s quake detection center in Nantou County’s Yuchi Township (魚池) at a depth of 8km. The quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged, with the cost of the damage estimated at NT$300 billion (US$10.8 billion at the current
CONFUSING RESULTS: A New Taipei City worker tested positive for COVID-19 in a rapid test and a PCR test, but negative in a traditional nucleic acid test, the CECC said Travelers from Bangladesh, Brazil and Peru are no longer required to quarantine at a government center, and from Saturday can choose to quarantine at hotels, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The three nations are no longer considered “key high-risk countries,” as their COVID-19 case numbers have continued to fall, the CECC said, adding that no travelers from these countries have been confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 in the past two months. The revised classification would allow travelers from the three countries to choose where they stay during their mandatory 14-day quarantine, although they would be required to pay
‘TECHNICALITY’: The full moon was at 7:55am, but the Taipei Astronomical Museum said it technically remained a ‘real’ full moon when it rose again at night The Mid-Autumn Festival had a “real” full moon, the first time the astronomical categorization has fallen on the day of the festival since 2013, the Taipei Astronomical Museum said yesterday. The festival, which falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar — which this year was yesterday — does not always coincide with an exact full moon, the museum said. A full moon occurs when the Earth is between the sun and the moon — or, more precisely, when the ecliptic longitudes of the sun and the moon differ by 180° — which has a cycle of