New York Mayor Michael Bloom-berg has stirred up a political storm by referring to Taiwan as a country, much like China, and by saying he "certainly would meet with Taiwanese officials."
Bloomberg, who replaced Rudolph Guiliani early this year, made the comments after meeting with Chinese Vice President Hu Jintao (
After meeting with Hu, Bloomberg was asked if he would consider meeting with representatives of the government of Taiwan. He replied that he "certainly would" and that he "would certainly welcome visitors from either country."
An editorial in the new newspaper, which only began circulating on April 16, recalled that Bloomberg's predecessor was even more blunt and honest by maintaining "a memorably principled policy."
Guiliani famously refused twice to meet with top Chinese officials, according to the editorial, which noted that President Jiang Zemin (
It pointed out that US policy that recognizes China and acknowledges its "one China" policy has meant that leaders of Taiwan are unable to come to the US on state visits.
They are allowed transit, however, and when President Chen Shui-bian (
When Bloomberg met with Hu, it said, the new mayor "at least made it clear that he was prepared to meet also with the Free Chinese leadership and suggested he thinks of Taiwan as a country."
The New York Sun said friends of Taiwan in America viewed Bloomberg's remarks as expressing "a reality which the State Department and the Bush administration have insisted on denying -- that the Republic of China on Taiwan is, like the People's Republic of China on the mainland, a country of its own."
The director general of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York, Andrew Hsia (
The deputy executive director of the New American Century, Tom Donelly, told the newspaper that "the fiction that Taiwan is part of China is increasingly difficult to credit."
"I'm not surprised that Mayor Bloomberg might have inadvertently let the truth get out," he added.
The report quoted Donnely as saying that the "one China" policy advanced by China has become increasingly difficult for the US to maintain as Taiwan has democratized and as US relations with China have grown tense.
"The world has changed, Taiwan has changed," he was quoted as adding.
The daily then quoted a senior Senate Republican foreign affairs staffer of Senator Jesse Helms, a long time supporter of Taiwan, as saying Bloomberg's remarks "represent the basic good instinct of the American people."
The staffer, speaking on condition of anonymity, added that "these are actually two countries, and one of them is a democracy."
A spokesman for the PRC consulate in New York declined to comment on Bloomberg's remarks, the report said.
Days after it was banned in China, a Mandarin ballad satirizing nationalistic Chinese Internet users is trending at No. 1 on YouTube in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Fragile (玻璃心), by Taiwan-based Malaysian rapper Namewee (黃明志) and Australian singer Kimberley Chen (陳芳語), offers a tongue-in-cheek apology to “little pink” Internet users, a disparaging term that describes patriotic “keyboard warriors” from China. After racking up more than 9 million views on YouTube, the song reached No. 3 on the site in Malaysia on Thursday, according to Kworb, a Web site that analyzes music data from around the world. It is also the only Chinese-language
NO CHANGE: US officials indicated that the ‘one China’ policy remains in place, while the NATO chief avoided discussing Biden’s comment in an effort to ease tensions US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said on Friday that the Pentagon would continue to support Taiwan’s military, but he declined to say if US troops would defend the island against China, after US President Joe Biden said there was a US “commitment” to do so. “As we’ve done over multiple administrations, we will continue to help Taiwan with the sorts of capabilities that it needs to defend itself,” Austin said at NATO headquarters. “So we’ll stay focused on those things, and I won’t engage in any hypotheticals with respect to Taiwan,” he told reporters. Biden on Thursday sparked a new firestorm
PROTECTION: The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a full vaccination rate of 30 percent, and allowing mixed first and second doses to boost coverage rates Whether Taiwan reopens its borders would depend on the nation’s vaccination coverage rate and the COVID-19 situation in other countries, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Shih Chung-liang (石崇良) said yesterday. The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a 70 percent first-dose vaccination coverage and 30 percent two-dose coverage as part of its consideration, Shih told a media briefing following the weekly Cabinet meeting. In spite of a relatively stable COVID-19 situation in Taiwan, and calls from foreign missions and businesses in the country to allow more international travelers, the government is maintaining strict border control measures. Since March last year,
SCENIC TRAIN TOURS: TRA Director-General Du Wei said experts on aesthetics and railway culture have worked for 10 months to restore the blue locomotive Breezy Blue, the Taiwan Railways Administration’s (TRA) tourism train, is to be launched on the South Link Line on Saturday. The railway operator spent about 10 months restoring the blue diesel-powered train, which first provided service to students and commuters before being outsourced to Lion Travel, which organizes railway tour packages. TRA Director-General Du Wei (杜微) told reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony in Pingtung County’s Fangliao Township (枋寮) that the agency hopes that the restored Breezy Blue would provide an authentic experience to railway fans as well as those with fond memories of riding the blue trains to work or