The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday dismissed concern that a ban on imports of US pork containing the feed additive ractopamine was a major trade irritant that could affect the US’ position on Taiwan’s membership in the nascent Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
“Pork is not a priority issue to be discussed between Taiwan and the US,” Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrew Kao (高振群) said at a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) told Kao that the government’s perception that the US has a favorable opinion of Taiwan’s attempts to join the TPP could just be wishful thinking.
Chiang asked Kao if he had heard of the saying “no pork, no talk” that is said to be circulating in Washington — meaning that the US would not start negotiations with Taiwan over its TPP bid unless Taipei agrees to lift the ractopamine ban.
Rumors of “no pork, no talk” did not come from Washington officials, Kao said, but added that the ministry was well aware of the US government’s position that Taiwan should allow imports of US pork containing ractopamine residues.
Kao said the ministry had expressed its wish to the US side that the pork issue should not top the list of trade issues between the two countries.
“There are other issues to talk about. We know how to respond to the US whenever the issue is brought up,” Kao said.
Earlier in the day, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) told the committee that the nation’s relations with its 22 diplomatic allies remain stable.
Lin was responding to Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Huang-liang’s (蔡煌瑯) statement that six of the 22 countries — Vatican City, Sao Tome and Principe, Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador — are on the verge of cutting ties with Taiwan.
Instead of sticking with President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) “diplomatic truce” strategy, which hinges on China’s willingness to “give alms” to Taiwan by not luring away the nation’s diplomatic allies, the ministry should take steps to persuade the international community to recognize both Taiwan and China simultaneously, Tsai said.
“I would like to see the Holy See establish diplomatic ties with China as well, but on the condition that it does not sever relations with Taiwan,” Tsai said.
Lin said he disagreed with Tsai’s statement that the nation’s diplomatic relationships with the 22 countries were dependent on Beijing’s “almsgiving” to Taiwan.
“I cannot accept such a characterization. The ministry has been working hard to maintain the status of Taiwan and its dignity,” Lin said.
Police have detained a Taoyuan couple suspected of over the past two months colluding with human trafficking rings and employment scammers in Southeast Asia to send nearly 100 Taiwanese jobseekers to Cambodia. At a media briefing in Taipei yesterday, the Criminal Investigation Bureau presented items seized from the couple, including alleged victims’ passports, forged COVID-19 vaccination records, mobile phones, bank documents, checks and cash. The man, surnamed Tsai (蔡), and his girlfriend, surnamed Tsan (詹), were taken into custody last month, after police at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport stopped four jobseekers from boarding a flight to Phnom Penh, said Dustin Lee (李泱輯),
BILINGUAL PLAN: The 17 educators were recruited under a program that seeks to empower Taiwanese, the envoy to the Philippines said The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines on Thursday hosted a send-off event for the first group of English-language teachers from the country who were recruited for a Ministry of Education-initiated program to advance bilingual education in Taiwan. The 14 teachers and three teaching assistants are part of the Taiwan Foreign English Teacher Program, which aims to help find English-language instructors for Taiwan’s public elementary and junior-high schools, the office said. Seventy-seven teachers and 11 teaching assistants from the Philippines have been hired to teach in Taiwan in the coming school year, office data showed. Among the first group is 57-year-old
TRICKED INTO MOVING: Local governments in China do not offer any help, and Taiwanese there must compete with Chinese in an unfamiliar setting, a researcher said Beijing’s incentives for Taiwanese businesspeople to invest in China are only intended to lure them across the Taiwan Strait, after which they receive no real support, an expert said on Sunday. Over the past few years, Beijing has been offering a number of incentives that “benefit Taiwanese in name, while benefiting China in reality,” a cross-strait affairs expert said on condition of anonymity. Strategies such as the “31 incentives” are intended to lure Taiwanese talent, capital and technology to help address China’s economic issues while also furthering its “united front” efforts, they said. Local governments in China do not offer much practical
‘ORDINARY PEOPLE’: A man watching Taiwanese military drills said that there would be nothing anyone could do if the situation escalates in the Taiwan Strait Many people in Taiwan look upon China’s military exercises over the past week with calm resignation, doubting that war is imminent and if anything, feeling pride in their nation’s determination to defend itself. After a visit to Taiwan last week by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, China has sent ships and aircraft across an unofficial buffer between Taiwan and China’s coast and missiles over Taipei and into waters surrounding the nation since Thursday last week. However, Rosa Chang, proudly watching her son take part in Taiwanese military exercises that included dozens of howitzers firing shells into the Taiwan Strait off