The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to give funding originally intended for the Solomon Islands and Kiribati to Taiwan’s remaining four Pacific allies, a diplomatic source said.
Taiwan cut diplomatic ties with the Solomon Islands and Kiribati on Monday and Friday, respectively, after the two countries switched allegiance to China.
Taiwan now has 15 diplomatic allies.
Photo: EPA-EFE/Ritchie B. Tongo
The source, who asked to remain anonymous, last week said that the ministry had sent its budget proposal for next year to the Legislative Yuan in late August and is awaiting lawmakers’ approval.
Asked about the budget originally earmarked for the two countries, the source said the money is expected to be used to solidify ties with Taiwan’s remaining Pacific allies, but did not disclose the exact amount to be reallocated.
Taiwan still has four Pacific allies: the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau and Tuvalu.
Nauru and Tuvalu have just elected new political leaders, while Palau and the Marshall Islands are soon to hold general elections, the source said.
A major shift in power could affect their relationship with Taiwan, the source said, adding that the ministry needs all the resources it has to solidify ties with the four.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) on Friday said that ties with the remaining Pacific allies are very close and he sees no reason to worry.
The ministry’s budget proposal for next year stands at NT$28.2 billion (US$910 million), a NT$2.2 billion increase from a year earlier.
The increase is mainly to be used for foreign aid projects in response to Beijing’s campaign to lure Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, the ministry said.
The budget is to be used to provide assistance to diplomatic allies through bilateral cooperation projects that boost construction of infrastructure, and education and training programs, it said.
Taiwan has lost seven diplomatic allies to China since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) assumed office in May 2016.
Beijing has taken a hardline stance on cross-strait relations since Tsai refused to accept the so-called “1992 consensus.”
The “1992 consensus,” a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted making up in 2000, refers to a tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese government that both sides of the Strait acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
However, Beijing has never publicly recognized the second part of the consensus.
UNDER WATCH: Taiwan will have to establish a standardized nucleic acid testing method to identify the virus and monitor its spread, the CDC said The Langya henipavirus, which can be transmitted from animals to humans, has been discovered in China, with 35 human infections reported so far, Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said, adding that the nation would establish a nucleic acid testing method to identify the virus. A study titled “A Zoonotic Henipavirus in Febrile Patients in China” that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday said that a new henipavirus associated with a fever-causing human illness was identified in China. The study said an investigation identified 35 patients with acute infection of the Langya henipavirus in China’s Shandong
MISSILE PATHS: Certain information on the Chinese missile fire was not disclosed to maintain secrecy over military intelligence-gathering capabilities, the MND said Military experts yesterday speculated on the implication of the government’s tight-lipped response and the lack of air-raid sirens during the first day of China’s military drills the previous day. On Thursday, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) launched 11 Dongfeng-series ballistic missiles into waters north, east and south of Taiwan, a day after US House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s departure from the country, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said. The Japanese Ministry of Defense said that China fired nine missiles toward Taiwan, including four that flew over Taiwan proper. However, China’s exhibition of force failed to terrorize the local populace, because
If any war were to break out between the US and China, one trigger might be the increasingly frequent fighter jet encounters near Taiwan. Almost every day, Taiwanese fighter pilots hop in their US-made F-16s to intercept Chinese warplanes screaming past their territory. The encounters probe the nation’s defenses and force the pilots on both sides to avoid mistakes that could lead to a crisis that spins out of control. “I didn’t know whether they would fire at me,” said retired colonel Mountain Wang, recounting a tense five-minute confrontation he had with Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) jets more than a decade
INCREASINGLY EMBOLDENED: China can no longer be dismissed as inexperienced, demonstrating an ability to coordinate land and sea missile systems, an expert said Beijing’s largest-ever exercises around Taiwan have offered essential clues into its plans for a grueling blockade in the event of an attack on Taiwan, and revealed an increasingly emboldened Chinese military, experts said. The visit to Taiwan by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi — second in line to the presidency — sparked outrage from Beijing, which launched vast military maneuvers around the nation, even at the risk of partially exposing its plans to the US and its Asian allies. Mobilizing fighter planes, helicopters and warships, the drills aim to simulate a blockade of Taiwan and include practicing an “attack on