The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday said that comments by Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee (李大維) regarding Sao Tome and Principe’s decision to cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan were incorrect and urged President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to enact measures to secure the nation’s diplomatic allies.
Lee told a news conference in Taipei yesterday that the African nation’s decision had no direct connection to the so-called “1992 consensus,” which refers to a tacit understanding between the KMT and Beijing that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
Former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) said in 2006 that he had made up the term in 2000.
Lee said that the African nation ended the diplomatic relationship because the government refused a request for “an astronomical number” in financial assistance by the Sao Tomean government.
Media reports said the figure was NT$6.4 billion (US$199.9 million).
Speaking at a separate news conference in Taipei in the morning, KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director Tang Te-ming (唐德明) said the inability of government officials to comprehend the core issues regarding the diplomatic break is evidence not only that Tsai is clueless about governance, but also that her staff are inept.
The Tsai administration refused to acknowledge the “1992 consensus,” despite her oft-stated pledge to maintain the “status quo,” adding that the administration had expressed confidence that diplomatic allies would not break ties with Taiwan over the refusal to acknowledge the “consensus” and had waved off such warnings as rumors, Tang said.
Sao Tome and Principe’s announcement to break ties seven months after Tsai took office in May raises the inevitable question of whether the “rumors” were actually valid warnings, Tang said, adding that the Tsai administration must come up with effective measures to prevent more diplomatic losses.
KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director Hu Wen-chi (胡文琦) said that keeping stable cross-strait ties was the most effective method to resolve diplomatic issues, as the achievements of former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) showed.
“As the Tsai administration now has full control of the government, it should take full responsibility for whatever happens, learn from others’ experience, reflect on its mistakes and explore more effective approaches to deal with cross-strait and foreign relations,” Hu said.
The KMT has learned its lessons from the landslide loss in the Jan. 16 presidential and legislative elections, Hu said, urging the public to believe that the KMT is the party most capable of managing cross-strait and diplomatic affairs.
KMT Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) expressed regret over Sao Tome and Principe’s move, saying that she hopes the government would “come to its senses” for the sake of the nation’s future and prosperity, as well as its people’s safety and security.
Since the Tsai administration was sworn in on May 20, rumors of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies intending to break off ties have been circulating, KMT Vice Chairman Jason Hu (胡志強) said, adding that he was nevertheless left dumbfounded by the news, as Panama and the Vatican were thought to be the most likely to leave.
TRAVEL CONFERENCE: Representatives from the two countries exchanged views on how to increase tourist numbers, with one identifying individual travel as a trend Taiwan and South Korea aim to increase the number of tourists traveling between the two countries to 3 million, government and tourism industry representatives said at a conference in Hsinchu City yesterday. The annual event was attended by Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Chen Yen-po (陳彥伯); Tourism Bureau Director-General Chang Shi-chung (張錫聰); Taiwan Visitors Association chairwoman Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭); South Korean Representative to Taiwan Chung Byung-won; Yoon Ji-sook, an official at the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism; and Korea Association of Travel Agents chairman Oh Chang-hee. Global tourism is expected to soon rebound to between 55 and
HASTY PLAN: Instructors must teach in a language they are not fluent in, while students are forced to learn new subjects in a tongue they do not know, teachers said The National Federation of Teachers Unions (NFTU) yesterday urged the government to thoroughly review its Bilingual 2030 policy, saying it has caused problems in elementary and high schools, and might affect the quality of education in other subjects. The government on March 28 changed its original “Bilingual Nation 2030” plan to the “Bilingual 2030” plan, no longer aiming to turn Taiwan into a Mandarin-English bilingual nation by 2030, NFTU president Hou Chun-liang (侯俊良) told a news conference in Taipei. Despite the change, the policy’s budget, resources and most of its content remain the same, causing unusual scenes on campuses, he said. Cheng Chi-yi
‘STILL RISKY’: The quarantine requirement for arrivals cannot be lifted, as COVID-19 cases have been rising in Europe and the US, the minister of health and welfare said The government might consider dropping a negative COVID-19 test result requirement for travelers from low-risk countries, but lifting the quarantine requirement for inbound travelers is still risky, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The CECC on Monday said it does not plan to further loosen border controls soon. National Taiwan University Children’s Hospital superintendent Huang Li-min (黃立民) said the “3+4” quarantine policy separates inbound travelers from family members for only three days, which is not enough to block the spread of the virus, so the government might consider changing it to a “0+7” policy. He also said that it might
Taiwanese singer Miu Chu (朱俐靜) passed away over the weekend after a battle with breast cancer, her family announced yesterday. She was 40 years old. The family wrote on Chu’s Facebook fan page that she died peacefully. “Thank you all for your concern. Miu, who was always full of laughter and always brought people positive energy with her music, left us peacefully on July 3,” the family said. The family asked for privacy at this time and said that details of a memorial service would be announced later. Chu was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020. She was an alumna of the TV reality show