The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday expressed regret over the Gambia’s decision to establish diplomatic ties with China, saying it would step up diplomatic efforts and stay vigilant against Chinese moves to obstruct Taiwan.
The ministry made the remarks in a statement issued after the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs earlier yesterday said that it had formally resumed ties with the former Taiwanese ally — a move perceived by some critics as the end of an unofficial diplomatic truce between Taiwan and China.
The announcement was made after a meeting in the Chinese capital between Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) and his Gambian counterpart, Neneh Macdouall-Gaye.
Photo: Wang Min-wei, Taipei Times
China had previously denied it had any intention of establishing diplomatic relations with Gambia — which abruptly severed its 18-year relationship with Taiwan on Nov. 14, 2013 — and said it was not involved in the decision.
“Two years and four months have passed since the Gambia unilaterally severed ties with Taiwan. We regret the Gambia’s decision to establish diplomatic ties with China now,” MOFA said in the statement.
It added that over the past seven years, the government has promoted President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) “viable diplomacy” policy and that concrete achievements have been made in both Taiwan’s ties with its major allies and international participation.
The ministry said it would continue to step up diplomatic efforts, remain vigilant against China’s suppression of Taiwan in the international arena and defend Taiwan’s national interests.
“Viable diplomacy” is a policy proposed by Ma in August 2008 during his first year in office. It calls for a halt to China’s and Taiwan’s attempts to woo each other’s allies.
Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂), who is accompanying Ma on a seven-day visit to two of the nation’s diplomatic allies in Central America, said the ministry had prior knowledge of communications between China and the Gambia.
“We will ask our overseas embassies to be on alert and keep a close watch over relevant developments,” Lin said, adding that Taiwan’s ties with its 22 diplomatic allies are solid and stable.
The Mainland Affairs Council also issued a statement saying it has expressed to China its “strong discontent” over its resumption of diplomatic ties with the Gambia.
“At about 1pm today, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office notified us that it was to announce the resumption of ties later today, saying the decision was made due to Gambia’s repeated requests and the ‘concrete needs’ in their bilateral relations,” the council said.
The council said such a move by China runs counter to the direction in which both sides of the Taiwan Strait have tried to push their relations, which are marked by peaceful and stable development, mutual respect and friendly exchanges.
It also undermines the foundation of mutual trust between both sides and is set to impact on cross-strait ties, the council added.
SWITCH TO BEIJING: The government severed diplomatic relations about an hour after Honduras announced the move, saying that no semi-official ties would be maintained Taiwan severed diplomatic ties with Honduras and ended all cooperation with the Central American country, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, about an hour and a half after the Honduran Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Twitter at 8am Taiwan time that the nation would cut its ties with Taiwan. Honduran President Xiomara Castro on Wednesday sent Honduran Minister of Foreign Affairs Eduardo Enrique Reina to Beijing to negotiate the establishment of diplomatic relations. She announced the plan on March 14 on Twitter. “To safeguard Taiwan’s sovereignty and dignity, Taiwan is terminating diplomatic ties with Honduras with immediate effect” after communication with
TRADE MISSION: After Fijian elections in December last year, pro-democratic parties formed a coalition and overruled a name change imposed by the former government The Taipei Trade Office in Fiji has been restored to its former name, the Trade Mission of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the Republic of Fiji, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. Fiji on Friday last week issued a note verbale to the office saying that the name change was retroactively effective from March 15, Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Director-General Wallace Chow (周民淦) told a news conference in Taipei. The mission’s diplomatic privileges have been reinstated as stipulated in Fiji’s Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities Act, which was enacted in 1971, Chow said. Taiwan set up a trade
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday departed for a 12-day trip to China as scheduled, despite calls for him to cancel the trip after Honduras severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan as an apparent result of China’s dollar diplomacy. “This is my first trip to China. I was 37 when I began handling cross-strait affairs in the government. Now I am 73 and have waited 36 years for the visit. It is indeed a bit too long, but I am glad I can go,” Ma of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) told reporters at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. “Aside from paying respects to
‘INDISPENSABLE ROLE’: Despite stopovers in the US, Tsai said the aim of her trip is to ‘demonstrate determination to deepen exchanges’ with the allies of the nation President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday afternoon left Taiwan on a 10-day trip to Central America that includes stopovers in New York and Los Angeles. “Through this visit, I will express my gratitude to diplomatic partners for their support of Taiwan,” Tsai said at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport shortly before boarding the plane. The trip to Guatemala and Belize — her first overseas journey since the COVID-19 pandemic began sweeping around the world in early 2020 — aims to “demonstrate Taiwan’s determination to deepen exchanges” with its Central American allies, she said. Tsai said that she and her delegation would also explore the possibility