Taiwan Defends Its Diplomatic Offensive in St Lucia

March 24, 2007 at 11:41 am | Posted in China, News, Olympics, Politics, Taiwan, 台灣, 台湾, 奥运, 奧運, 政治, 新聞, 新闻, 中国, 中國 | 1 Comment

chineseyuanold

Mar. 24 2007 Playfuls.com/DPA

Taiwan, fighting a tough battle to win over St Lucia from China, on Saturday defended its diplomatic offensive in the Caribbean island nation as legal and transparent…

“Taiwan’s diplomacy is based on the principle of winning wide friendship. Our foreign minister’s visiting St Lucia is quite significant,” the Central News Agency (CNA) quoted Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Chien-yeh as saying.

Regarding claims by some countries that Taiwan was using aid to win St Lucia ‘s recognition, thus prompting China to hike its aid and resulting in dollar diplomacy, Wang said many Western countries did the same thing, so it was unfair for them to criticize Taiwan. “Our foreign assistance is supervised by the parliament and is transparent,” he told CNA…

Chinese Ambassador Gu Huaming lodged a protest with St Lucia, saying its receiving the Taiwan delegation was totally unacceptable to the government and people of China. Taiwan has been seeking to restore diplomatic ties with St Lucia, which has recognised China since the return to power of the Caribbean nation’s opposition leader Compton in December 2006.

Compton, 82, leader of the United Workers Party and the so-called father of St Lucia’s independence from Britain in 1979. He led St Lucia for 29 years, between 1964 and 1979 and again from 1982 to 1996. Under his rule, St Lucia opened diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1984 but cut ties in order to recognize China in 1979, when Kenny Anthony became prime minister.

Now that Compton is back in power, there seems to be willingness from both St Lucia and Taipei to resume ties, causing China to take steps to protect its current diplomatic relationship. China recently pledged more aid, including offering to help build an industrial zone and a sports stadium, in a bid to match Taiwan’s offer of aid.

If St Lucia resumes ties with Taiwan, it will be the 25th country to recognize Taiwan, formally known as the Republic of China. Some 170 countries recognize China or the People’s Republic of China and see Taiwan as its breakaway province. While Taiwan accepts the dual recognition of both Taipei and Beijing by foreign countries, China upholds a “one-China” policy and cuts ties as soon as a foreign ally has opened ties with Taiwan.

Dollar diplomacy is the only way for Taiwan to survive internationally and maintain its legitimacy as a country. I don’t see how this problem can be solved in the near future. As long as China upholds it one-China policy, Taiwan will have to resort to paying for friends.

Despite China’s one-China policy, there is some truth to Taiwan’s assertion that China is the one pushing the island towards formal independence. If Taiwan was able to maintain its international presence as the Republic of China, there most likely wouldn’t even be a Taiwan Issue today. Only after Taiwan began to lose its diplomatic allies to the PRC did most Taiwanese start to ask themselves, “If the world recognizes the PRC as China, yet we are not part of the PRC, so does that mean Taiwan is not part of China?” This mindset led to the reemergence of the Taiwanese identity, which has been strongly reinforced by China’s military threats and the conspicuous manner in which the PRC goes about degrading the status and image of Taiwan within the international arena.

In reality and for all practical matters, the relationship between the ROC and PRC is analogous to the relationship between the two Koreas, namely the ROK and DPRK. Despite the presence of two Koreas and the hostilities that exist between them, the two sides agree that there is in essence only one Korea and that the two countries would ultimately be reunified. Both sides still claim sovereignty over the territory administered by one another and have no official diplomatic relations, yet both enjoy international diplomatic recognition. If such an arrangement can work for the two Koreas, why can’t there be two Chinas? Plus, what good is the one-China policy when it clearly has the opposite effect?

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  1. Normally I don’t write about other peoples blogs, but this one really caught my eye: Great Site man…


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