Vice President Annette Lu (
Lu's China Airlines flight landed at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta international airport at 1pm local time yesterday even as government officials continued to deny that the vice president was on a clandestine trip to Indonesia.
But China's strong opposition to her Jakarta visit disrupted Lu's plan to visit the Indonesian capital for two days before heading to Bali and possibly Australia, sources said.
PHOTO: TONY YAO, TAIPEI TIMES
"To my knowledge, Chinese officials lodged a stark protest to at least three Indonesian ministers [in regards to Lu's visit]," said Lin Shui-chi (
After spending two hours in the VIP lounge at Jakarta's international airport, Lu flew on to the resort island of Bali.
Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Michael Kau (
"I don't consider it a setback," Kau said of what happened in Jakarta. "This arrangement [of flying to Bali] is one of our strategic options," he said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Kong Quan (
Kong also warned Indonesia not to have any dealings with Lu lest it run the risk of jeopardizing Beijing-Jakarta ties.
In a press release yesterday the Indonesian foreign ministry stressed that the government had no advance knowledge of Lu's arrival in Jakarta, while reiterating the country's long-standing "one China" policy.
"The government of Indonesia has not in any way arranged for the visit of Lu Hsiu-lien, certainly not in her supposed capacity as vice president of an entity that names itself Republic of China," said a statement issued by the Indonesian foreign ministry.
The statement also said that the Indonesian government had not arranged the visit and that no officials would meet with Lu while she visits Bali as a private citizen.
"We have no plans for a meeting between President Megawati Sukarnoputri and the Taiwanese vice president, either in an official or unofficial capacity,'' Indonesian presidential spokesman Garibaldi Sudjatmiko said yesterday.
Some Taiwanese officials said it would be unlikely that Lu would have the opportunity to go on to Australia. Lu reportedly wanted to make the trip for medical treatment for a bad back.
"China has recently offered Australia a multibillion contract for purchasing liquefied natural gas from Australia for over the next 20 years, the largest single order Australia has secured in recent years," said a foreign ministry official, who declined to be named.
Chang Jung-feng (張榮豐), deputy secretary-general of the National Security Council, said that "Taiwan is not a normal country to a certain extent," as it faces constant constraints from China with regards to the country's external relations.
"To avoid China's moves to suppress us, we need to do everything we can to conceal many of our diplomatic efforts," Chang said.
Presidential Office Spokesman James Huang (
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