Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday criticized Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) officials who said that US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft’s planned visit to Taiwan was “not helpful” and would “rile China.”
“The KMT just wants to placate China, and does not like us doing things that will make positive change. If we do not, Taiwan would sink deeper into the ‘one China’ trap, which is much more dangerous,” DPP Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) said.
“Certainly we must tread carefully in expanding our space to maneuver in foreign affairs and international programs. This is for the greater good of all our citizens, and all political parties should join together in this effort,” Wang said.
“Some pan-blue politicians are speaking out, overly emphasizing that China will be angered over this and that. They are acting like a mouthpiece for the Chinese Communist Party,” he said.
DPP Legislator Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said that KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang should explain whether the KMT has changed its official policy to “turn away from the US and move closer to China.”
Lin was reacting to KMT caucus whip Alex Fei (費鴻泰), who caused a furor by labeling Craft a “bad guest,” opposing her visit from tomorrow to Friday.
“A US ambassador to the UN coming to Taiwan is delightful news, showing that Taiwan-US relations are upgraded to higher levels, but KMT officials are opposing this, and even calling her a bad guest. This has gone too far,” Lin said.
“I demand that … Chiang not hide away. He must explain to the public the KMT’s official policy of ... becoming anti-US, and moving closer to China,” Lin said.
“Does this conform to the prevailing attitude of our society? If not, then Chiang must restrain his KMT members,” he said.
On a political TV talk show on Friday, Fei said: “What can [Craft] bring to Taiwan? Will she support Taiwan in joining the UN?”
The government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs arranged the visit at this time, because they are afraid of the incoming administration of US president-elect Joe Biden, he said.
“A visitor who comes calling is a guest, but this visitor is not a good guest, she is a bad guest, and should not visit,” Fei said.
Meanwhile, the DPP released a statement condemning former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), of the KMT, for saying that Craft’s visit would “have no practical effect.”
In an interview on Saturday, Ma said: “In sending the US ambassador to the UN to Taiwan, the US government is only trying to rile China. Currently, it is impossible for Taiwan to join the UN. Craft coming here is only a superficial gesture.”
The DPP said Ma had forgotten that he had in 2009 welcomed John Bolton, who was the US ambassador to the UN from 2005 to 2006.
“Ma treated it as an important event and gave it much fanfare, even producing a news release which praised Bolton for promoting ties with Taiwan, even though he had left the US government office,” the statement said.
“We want to know: When current US government office holders visit in the future, will the KMT oppose it and refuse to meet them?” the statement said.
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