Thu, Nov 08, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Pacific allies shunning Chinese summit: MOFA

Staff writer, with CNA

None of the nation’s six diplomatic allies in the South Pacific are to take part in a China-hosted summit in the region to be held on Friday next week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday.

Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, the Marshall Islands, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu — were invited to the China-Pacific Islands summit ahead of the APEC forum in Papua New Guinea, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said at a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee.

However, none of them have agreed to attend, Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Deputy Director-General Chang Chun-yu (張均宇) said.

“We therefore believe the summit will not affect Taiwan’s relations with its diplomatic allies in the region,” Chang said.

The ministry is closely monitoring every attempt made by Beijing to lure Taipei’s diplomatic allies to avoid losing another one, Wu said.

Taiwan has lost five diplomatic allies to China since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office in May 2016, cutting the nation’s number of diplomatic allies to 17.

Australia, New Zealand, the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu are to participate in the China-led summit, the ministry said.

Details of the summit have yet to made public, it added.

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