Taipei, Dec. 29 (CNA) The opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said Tuesday that Taiwan should consider taking part in international activities that are "peaceful and non-military" in war-torn Afghanistan.
DPP spokeswoman Hsiao Bi-khim was responding to Foreign Affairs Minister Timothy C.T. Yang's remarks a day earlier that the United States, which is sending yet more troops to Afghanistan, has expressed hope that Taiwan can provide non-military assistance.
Yang also said Taiwan "has to make an overall consideration and has not made any decision." Hsiao said that given the international plight of Taiwan, it has no basis for sending military personnel to support the war in Afghanistan.
"But Taiwan could provide humanitarian assistance," she said.
She said Taiwan should cautiously consider participation in any international activities that are "peaceful, non-military and with the participation of international community" so as to "take up its share of responsibility in the international community." A day earlier, legislators Lin Yu-fang and Shuai Hua-ming of the ruling Kuomintang had expressed concern about the U.S. request.
Lin said he would favor providing medical equipment or funds to Afghanistan, but he urged cautious evaluation if Taiwan wants to send medical personnel or engineers to Afghanistan.
Shuai said that if Taiwan wants to provide non-military assistance, it should be done under the name of Taiwan, not the United States, lest Taiwanese personnel are mistaken for Americans and kidnapped by the Taleban.
(By Wen Kuei-hsiang and Lilian Wu)