Thu, Feb 15, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Minister addresses nation’s diplomatic challenges

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee, right, and his wife, Chih Lin, as well as their dog, Hana, wish the public a happy Year of the Dog in a video posted on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Web site yesterday.

Photo: Lu Yin-hsuan, Taipei Times, screengrab of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Web site

Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee (李大維) yesterday unveiled a video laying out the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ efforts over the past year to address the nation’s seemingly endless diplomatic challenges.

To celebrate the Year of the Dog, Lee invited his wife, Chih Lin (池琳), and their dog, Hana, to join him in a four-minute video to extended Lunar New Year greetings to people in Taiwan.

“Although our diplomatic situation is fraught with challenges, our diplomats are neither frustrated nor lax. They fight tirelessly for our nation’s dignity and interests, and to expand our nation’s international presence,” Lee said.

The ministry has implemented international cooperation and humanitarian aid projects worldwide, while President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) visited seven of the nation’s diplomatic allies in Central America and the Pacific, he said.

Meanwhile, ties with the US, Japan and European countries have grown stronger, Lee said, adding that efforts were being made to promote the New Southbound Policy and to start a new chapter in the nation’s foreign relations.

The ministry last year created an official Facebook page to enhance interactions with the public and to allow people to learn about foreign affairs, he said.

Republic of China passport holders now enjoy visa waivers, landing visas or other visa-related privileges in 166 countries and territories, he added.

“The US, UK and Australia have extended Republic of China passport holders e-gate entry privileges since the end of 2016,” Lee said.

Last year, Taiwan had several diplomatic setbacks, most notably Panama’s decision in June to severe diplomatic ties with Taiwan and switch recognition to China.

In addition, a number of countries have asked Taiwan’s representative offices to remove the Republic of China or Taiwan from their names, including Ecuador, Bahrain and Papua New Guinea, as well as the government of Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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