The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday welcomed a joint statement by ASEAN leaders voicing concerns that the situation across the Taiwan Strait could affect regional stability.
The statement was issued after the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat ended on Saturday in Jakarta. It was the first major meeting since Indonesia assumed chairmanship of ASEAN this year.
Attendees of the meeting reiterated their determination to promote “sustainable peace, security, stability, and prosperity within and beyond the region,” the statement said.
They expressed concerns about developments across the Taiwan Strait and their “implications on regional stability,” the statement said.
The cross-strait situation “could lead to miscalculation, serious confrontation, open conflicts, and unpredictable consequences,” it said.
ASEAN is ready to “play a constructive role in facilitating peaceful dialogue between all parties ... to de-escalate tension, to safeguard peace, security and development in the area adjacent to our region,” it said.
Photo: Screen grab from the WHO’s Web site
The group voiced similar concerns after the ASEAN Foreign Ministerial Meetings in August last year, the ministry said in a news release yesterday.
That meeting was held as the Chinese military was conducting live-fire drills around Taiwan after then-US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei.
At the time, ASEAN called for “maximum restraint, refrain from provocative action.”
The ministry called on ASEAN member states to continue to support democratic Taiwan and pay attention to cross-strait peace and stability.
Taiwan is willing to deepen cooperation with ASEAN based on the solid foundation of the New Southbound Policy to protect the rules-based international order and facilitate peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region, it said.
Taiwan hopes that the summits and meetings held under the leadership of Indonesia are successful, it added.
In other news, Japan, Nauru and the US have voiced support for Taiwan at the 152nd session of the WHO Executive Board, which began on Monday last week and ends tomorrow.
“We urge WHO to be fully inclusive of all partners, including Taiwan, and support Taiwan’s participation as an observer to the WHA [World Health Organization] and in the work of WHO,” Bathsheba Nell Crocker, US ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Switzerland, said on Saturday.
Japanese Assistant Minister for Global Health and Welfare Eiji Hinoshita praised Taiwan’s success in tackling COVID-19, calling on the WHO not to “make any geographical vacuums which are created by leaving specific regions behind in addressing global health issues.”
Nauru said in a statement that omitting countries such as Taiwan from WHO projects “creates a gap that undermines global preparedness and response to health emergencies.”
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