Thu, Oct 19, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Ministry wary of Dominican relations

Staff writer, with CNA

Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee speaks during a question-and-answer session at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has closely monitored the nation’s diplomatic ties with the Dominican Republic for “a long period of time,” an official said yesterday in response to a warning that the Caribbean ally could be growing closer to Beijing.

At a legislative committee meeting, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) pointed to signs suggesting the possibility that the Dominican Republic could switch its allegiance from Taipei to Beijing.

He said Dominican Minister of Foreign Affairs Miguel Vargas met with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) during the UN General Assembly last month, at which Vargas did not voice support for Taiwan.

During a question-and-answer session at the meeting, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee (李大維) said the ministry has closely watched the Dominican Republic for a long time.

Lee said that he visited the Caribbean ally in July and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Jose Maria Liu (劉德立) traveled there in August, adding that Liu is headed to the Dominican Republic “right now” to strengthen ties.

However, Lee did not meet with Vargas in July.

The ministry at the time said that Vargas was on an overseas trip and had his deputy welcome Lee instead.

However, there is no immediate threat of the Dominican Republic cutting ties with Taiwan, said a ministry source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the issue.

Liu’s trip is meant to enhance bilateral cooperation, the source added.

Vargas met with Wang last month because the Dominican Republic is trying to secure a nonpermanent member seat on the UN Security Council and was soliciting China’s support, the source said.

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