Taiwan’s relations with Palau and the Marshall Islands remain stable, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday, thanking US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Randall Schriver for his concern.
Schriver spoke on Thursday at a joint hearing for the US House of Representatives committees on Natural Resources and Foreign Affairs, after Taiwan last week lost two Pacific allies: the Solomon Islands and Kiribati.
Focusing on the US’ relations with Pacific island nations, the hearing was also attended by Marshallese Ambassador to the US Gerald Zackios.
Photo: Lu Yi-hsuen, Taipei Times
“There’s tremendous pressure on the remaining diplomatic allies of Taiwan to switch diplomatic recognition,” Schriver said.
“We are particularly concerned by China’s use of coercive tools to attempt to erode their sovereignty and induce them to behave in accordance with Chinese interests,” he said, referring mainly to the Marshall Islands and Palau.
Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said in a statement yesterday that Taiwan’s relations with Palau and the Marshall Islands are stable, even though China has attempted to intervene through means such as trade incentives.
Both allies have spoken up for Taiwan at the UN General Assembly and other international events, while the Marshall Islands’ legislature has passed a resolution showing support for Taiwan, she said.
Beijing has used almost every means possible to suppress Taiwan’s international space, including offering astronomical funding for infrastructure and expanding economic ties to convince Taiwan’s allies to switch allegiance, she said.
The snatching of two Pacific allies from Taiwan is evidence of Beijing’s expansionism in the Pacific region, Ou said.
Taiwan continues to work with like-minded countries and stabilize its relations with Pacific allies, to ensure that the region’s democratic institutions, freedom and openness are not destroyed, she said.
Additional reporting by CNA
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