President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) calls for an extradition agreement and visa waivers for Taiwanese tourists visiting the US are unlikely to bear fruit anytime soon.
Sources in Washington told the Taipei Times: “It’s just not going to happen.”
The major reason is that China is opposed to them, now more than ever. And with North Korea again playing its nuclear card, Washington is anxious for China’s cooperation and will be very reluctant to upset Beijing, sources said.
Ma raised the extradition and visa issues earlier this week when he stopped over in Los Angeles on his way to visit three Central American countries.
During talks with American Institute in Taiwan Chairman Raymond Burghardt, he stressed the importance of the two issues and asked for early agreements.
But sources said that even though the White House might be sympathetic, it would most likely bow to Chinese pressure.
“The Chinese feel strongly about these issues,” the sources said.
They added: “No Chinese province has an extradition agreement or visa waiver status and granting that to Taiwan would — in Chinese eyes — make Taiwan look like an independent country. And of course that is the last thing that Beijing wants.”
The Obama administration’s sensitivity toward Beijing was stressed this week by political consultant Michael Richardson, writing on the Boston-based Web site www.examiner.com.
He said that Stephen Bosworth, dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, had been appointed as special US envoy to North Korea.
Richardson says that Special Envoy Bosworth has written and lectured about both North Korea and Taiwan and “is candid about the need for the United States to work with China and the possible consequences to Taiwan.”
In an academic paper titled Dancing with Giants, Bosworth says: “In terms of American foreign policy, some things have not changed in East Asia, including the two most important items.
One is the continuing problem of Taiwan, the Taiwan Straits and the future of China’s relationship with that wandering province.
The second is the problem of North Korea, where we have what is in effect our third nuclear crisis in the last decade and a half.”
Bosworth continues: “With Taiwan, of course, the problem is that for the last couple of decades we have always hoped and assumed that the problem would cure itself, largely through economic integration.”
“The thinking held that as Taiwan’s economy became more and more tied intos mainland China, the prospect of conflict over the future of Taiwan would diminish. In some measure, I am still confident that is the case,” he said.
“But there is no question that the emergence of democracy in Taiwan has significantly complicated this issue. Not surprisingly, Taiwan believes that it should have the same chance to pursue its destiny that other countries have had,” he said.
Richardson said: “As Bosworth begins his diplomatic effort to isolate North Korea and put pressure on them to disarm he will be looking for help from China — help that may only come at the expense of Taiwan.”
Meanwhile, Forbes magazine said that “if it weren’t for Beijing, Pyongyang would be impotent.”
A study published by online booking platform Expedia revealed searches for travel to Taipei have ballooned 2,786 percent following the lifting of COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions due to the city being a “designation dupe” for Seoul. The TikTok trend for duping — referring to substituting a designation for a more inexpensive alternative — helped propel interest in Taipei, it said in a consumer survey titled “Unpack ‘24,” which was conducted from September to October in 14 countries. Location dupes are “every bit as delightful as the tried-and-true places travelers love,” Expedia trend tracker Melanie Fish said of the year’s popular alternatives, which
SAFETY IN REGULATION: The proposal states that Chiayi should assess whether it is viable to establish such a district and draft rules to protect clients and sex workers The Chiayi City Council passed a motion yesterday to assess the viability of establishing a regulated red-light district. The council yesterday held its last session of the year, at which its fiscal 2024 budget was approved, along with 61 other proposals. The proposal to assess the viability of establishing a red-light district was put forward by independent Chiayi City Councilor Molly Yen (顏色不分藍綠支持性專區顏色田慎節). The proposal cited 2011 amendments to the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), which stipulate that city and county governments can pass autonomous regulations on the sex trade to manage the industry and guarantee industry workers’ rights. A ban on the
A small-scale protest that called on the government to cancel its plan to welcome Indian migrant workers in a bid to tackle Taiwan’s labor shortage was held in Taipei yesterday. During the protest, comprised of a few dozen people staged in front of the Presidential Office on Ketagalan Boulevard, the protest’s chief initiator, a woman identified only as “Yuna” said they wanted the central government to reconsider allowing migrant workers from India to enter Taiwan. Most people in Taiwan had little knowledge about the potential plan to allow in Indian migrant workers until a report in the media last month, she
STABILITY AND CHANGE: Flagging in recent polls, Ko this week pledged to maintain President Tsai’s foreign policy, with an emphasis on improving China relations Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday reiterated that he is “deep-green at heart” in response to accusations that he is pivoting his campaign to align closer with the ideology of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the face of flagging polls. Ko made the remark at an agricultural policy conference in Taipei, repeating his comments from an interview with CTS News a day earlier. Ko told the CTS host that he would continue to pursue President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) national defense and foreign policy in general, but with an emphasis on establishing a rapport with