Taiwan touts cooperation projects with allies as its diplomatic edge
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, May 3 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Thursday that while China is resorting to its economic power to promote diplomacy and suppress Taiwan's international space, Taiwan's advantage is its cooperation projects and growing bilateral trade ties with its diplomatic allies.
Commenting on the Dominican Republic's severance of diplomatic relations with Taiwan Tuesday, MOFA spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said Taiwan has been working to consolidate its ties with its diplomatic allies.
To that end, Taiwan has adopted a stable pragmatic approach, including promoting bilateral cooperation and economic and trade ties to benefit the people in those countries, Lee said.
He said the Taiwan government has collaborated with the allies in areas such as green energy, resource recycling, public health, medical care, and health education.
Taiwan has also been importing products such as coffee and beef from Paraguay and Honduras, Lee said.
In Palau, Taiwan has launched cooperation projects to introduce farming on school campuses and to promote healthy diets to reduce the incidence of chronic disease, he said.
Launching such projects that take root in the allied countries is Taiwan's diplomatic edge, Lee said, adding that the government will continue its work in that area.
In contrast, China has been trying to lure Taiwan's allies by offering astronomical amounts of foreign aid, he said.
Following the severance of diplomatic relations with the Dominican Republic, MOFA is preparing to hold a meeting of its officials and representatives from the International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF) on Friday to discuss issues related to withdrawing all diplomatic and technical staff from the Caribbean country, Lee said.
Asked whether the Dominican students in the Taiwan Scholarship Program will be allowed to continue their studies here, Lee said that in accordance with past practice, they will be permitted to remain until the end of the current semester.
However, a final decision will be made on that issue after Friday's meeting, he added.
Meanwhile, Taiwan will halt all bilateral cooperative projects, cut all assistance to the Dominican Republic, and recall all its diplomatic staff and technical mission employees in the country, as 77 years of bilateral diplomatic relations end, MOFA said.
According to a MOFA source on Tuesday, China offered the Dominican Republic a US$3 billion package of investment and loans to lure it away from Taiwan.
The Dominican Republic's decision leaves Taiwan with only 19 diplomatic allies in the world, comprising African, Caribbean, Latin American and Pacific island nations, as well as the Vatican.
(By Elaine Hou and Evelyn Kao)
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