If President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration does not adjust its cross-strait policy, or Taipei and Washington establish formal ties, Taiwan might lose more diplomatic allies, despite its friendly relations with the US, the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) National Policy Foundation said yesterday.
Taiwan now has 15 diplomatic allies left after the Solomon Islands and Kiribati both switched recognition from Taipei to Beijing this week.
The “stiff” foreign policy of the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Tsai has intensified the cross-strait situation, leading to the loss of seven allies since May 2016, KMT Legislator Lin Yu-fang (林郁方), a member of the foundation, told a news conference in Taipei.
Although the US rebukes governments that forsake Taipei in favor of Beijing, Washington itself recognizes the People’s Republic of China (PRC) rather than the Republic of China (ROC), Lin said.
An “avalanche” of allies ditching Taiwan might be stopped only if the US and like-minded nations establish formal ties with Taiwan, Lin said.
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) at least restrained China’s unification campaign by adhering the so-called “1992 consensus,” he said, adding that more allies would be lost if Tsai does not modify her cross-strait policy.
The “1992 consensus” — a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) admitted making up in 2000 — refers to a tacit understanding between the KMT and Beijing that both sides acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
Taiwan’s cross-strait policy always outweighs its policy for other nations, and a good cross-strait relationship is the basis for a healthy overall foreign policy, said former minister of foreign affairs Francisco Ou (歐鴻鍊).
ROC passports might become invalid if allies continue to depart until Taiwan has no formal recognition, meaning Taiwanese would have to travel on PRC passports or special documents, Ou said.
However, no nations would agree to such arrangements with Taiwan if Beijing applies pressure, he said.
Lin and Ou urged Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) to step down to shoulder responsibility for the diplomatic setbacks.
They also called on Tsai to stop flouting diplomatic professionalism by employing DPP members as diplomats in countries with better living conditions, such as Representative to Germany Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) and Representative to Japan Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), instead of allied countries, where effort needs to be expended to sustain relations.
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