Tue, Mar 19, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan seeks support for its ICAO participation bid

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan is aiming to participate in an assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) which is to start in September, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) said yesterday.

Taiwan will continue to seek support for its bid for ICAO participation by keeping in close contact with countries such as the US, Lin said during a hearing of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee.

Lin was responding to a question by a lawmaker on China’s attitude toward Taiwan’s participation in the Montreal-based ICAO, an organization under the UN which promotes the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation around the world.

Then-Chinese president Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) has said he would consider the possibility of aiding Taiwan in its ICAO bid during a meeting with former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman and envoy to the APEC forum Lien Chan (連戰) on the sidelines of an APEC leadership meeting in September last year.

China has often tried to curb Taiwan’s presence in the international community, as it considers Taiwan to be part of its territory.

However, the hostility between the two sides has decreased since President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) took office in 2008.

The ministry sees Hu’s remarks as important for Taiwan’s ICAO bid, Lin said.

Lin said that, as far as he knows, China is still considering the extent to which it will tolerate Taiwan’s participation in the ICAO.

Meanwhile, Taiwan will continue to seek support from ICAO key players and campaign for Taiwan’s participation in the aviation body, he said.

US support is indispensable, Lin said, adding that Taipei is hoping to establish closer trade and security exchanges with Washington.

Bills in support of Taiwan’s observer status in the ICAO were introduced in both the US Senate and the US House of Representatives last week.

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