Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ma's Diplomatic Truce Scores Another Resounding Success

This translation of the PRC squeeze on Taiwan's overseas diplomatic efforts is from the KMT's own news site:
According to media reports, the Foreign Ministry’s efforts to establish Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Offices (TECRO) in Cambodia, Laos, and Burma have hit an impasse. In addition, the Foreign Ministry has also decided to withdraw its representative offices from Bangladesh, Bolivia, and Venezuela. Hsia Li-Yan, Deputy Foreign Minister, said during the interpellation period yesterday, “The only reason is, of course, Mainland China.”

Hsia pointed out that with the assistance of Taiwan businessmen, the Foreign Ministry had been able to establish official contacts with Cambodia, Laos, and Burma. Hsia said, “However, the three countries maintained reservations with regard to establishing TECRO offices,” adding that “the Foreign Ministry will continue in its efforts to set up offices.”

Although a TECRO office in Bangladesh was set up more than four years ago, our officials have not been allowed to display a TECRO plaque or issue visas and Bangladeshi officials have refused to interact with TECRO officials. Commenting on this, Hsia said, “If we continue to maintain a TECRO office in Bangladesh, it would be a waste of the taxpayer’s money.” Hsia added that “officials of the representative offices in Bolivia and Venezuela are having difficulties in obtaining visas even for themselves, so how are they going to issue visas and notarize documents?”

President Ma has striven for a cross-Strait diplomatic truce ever since he took office, hoping that both side of the Strait would put an end to the diplomatic tug-of-war. However, he has not urged with special emphasis that both sides of the Strait could establish representative offices in the capital cities of each other’s allies.
Boy, ya bend over backwards to please the PRC and they still treat ya badly. Who could have imagined it? One need only contrast this failure with DPP Mayor Chen Chu of Kaohsiung, who not only described Ma as "President" in China, but also refused to enter on a Taiwan Compatriot Visa, the odious PRC annexation of Taiwan via the visitor's status.

The triumphant screeches over the World Health Assembly by the KMT and its media pals exist to throw dirt over the ongoing reduction in Taiwan's international space that the Ma Administration appears to be acquiescing in. Note too the fallout from US foreign policy -- Chavez in Venezuela leans to China because the US leans on Chavez, with concomitant negative results for Taiwan. Remember when Venezuela refused to issue visas to the Taiwan baseball team two years ago? It's good that there is solidarity among small countries....

The news comes as the President and First Lady are off to Central America through the US. US approval of Ma is signaled by the fact that he is permitted to transit through Seattle and Los Angeles, a privilege also accorded to Chen Shui-bian back before the Bush Administration decided what it really needed to be doing was cozying up to Beijing.
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Tommy said...

I think this latest success definitely deserves a "Ma Save Us!"

I really hope this gets reported more widely. I didn't see it in the papers today :-S

As for North Korea, I wonder when those idiots in Washington will wake up and realise that they are getting nothing out of China. Going through the Chinese to attempt a diplomatic solution to that problem is pointless.

Remember the cries of jubilation by some Obama supporters when they claimed that pirates were a test of his strength and resolve? We will see what this test does. If he allows his administration to be hoodwinked by some Chinese excuses that this is really not a big deal, I would say it is a very very very bad sign for US foreign policy, and doubly so for Taiwan.

Readin said...

Note too the fallout from US foreign policy -- Chavez in Venezuela leans to China because the US leans on Chavez, with concomitant negative results for Taiwan.It sounds like you are faulting the U.S. for this foreign policy. But it comes part and parcel with U.S. support for Taiwan. The U.S. cannot be pro-Taiwan, providing intelligence, weapons, and promises to consider an attack on Taiwan a "grave" issue, without also having an anti-Chavez foreign policy.

The pro-Taiwan policies (imperfect as they are) and anti-Chavez policies (although Obama seems to like him) come from the same values - anti-communism, anti-authoritarianism, pro-freedom, and pro-democracy.

TicoExpat said...

MOFA tried its best to keep the offices open, but it reached a point where it is impossible to keep on working. Money talks, and in this case, Venezuela gets the best deal: sells oil to China, gets Chinese investment in a long dreamed of refinery, and moreover, won't have to pay all that it took from Taiwan's CPC.Bolivia is also keen on having China buy more stuff, like uranium.

Who would have interestes in leaving the Taiwanese businessmen in, say, Cambodia or Bangladesh, without diplomatic support? Is it really that impotrtant?

Well, ask the kidnapped crews in Somalia or the sunken shipmates in South Africa.

Mighty, mighty dollar, or should I say, yuan.