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Government agencies impose further sanctions against Manila

Government agencies impose further sanctions against Manila

Taipei, May 15 (CNA) Various Taiwan government agencies will suspend a raft of exchanges with the Philippines in a second wave of sanctions leveled Wednesday against Manila amid growing tensions between the two sides following the shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman by the Philippine Coast Guard. As part of the second wave of sanctions, the Council of Agriculture (COA) will call off a meeting with the Philippines that was scheduled for August under a 2005 memorandum of understanding on agriculture and fishery cooperation, COA Minister Chen Bao-ji said Wednesday. Taiwan and the Philippines have held five such meetings, at which Manila received more helpful information than Taiwan, he said. In addition, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) will suspend economic and trade exchanges with the Philippines and will advise Taiwanese businesses not to invest in the country, Economics Minister Chang Chia-juch said. The MOEA said it had not started planning for a regular Taiwan-Philippine economic cooperation meeting and will consider whether to suspend other activities depending on Manila's attitude. The ministry said it will consider halting investment visits to the Philippines and canceling an investment solicitation event for Philippine businesspeople. In addition, Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), which is seeking to set up a trade center in Manila in the second half of this year, said it is considering holding off on the plan. Taiwan invested a total of US$2 billion in the Philippines between 1959 and 2012 and its investment for 2012 was US$58.54 million, making it the 10th largest investor in the neighboring country, statistics show. About 600-700 Taiwanese companies have investments in the Philippines, mainly in the sectors of electronics and electric products, foodstuff, chemical materials, financial and banking and textile. Most of these companies are located in the greater Manila region. The growing tensions between the two countries are expected to affect Taiwan investment in the Philippines, economics officials said. Taiwan launched the second wave of sanctions to express its dissatisfaction over Manila's response to Taiwan's demands for a formal apology, a promise to bring those responsible to justice, compensation for the victim's family and a commitment to fishery negotiations. The sanctions include a "red" travel alert urging Taiwanese not to visit the Philippines, the suspension of exchanges between high-level officials and interaction between the two countries. Taiwan has also decided to remove the Philippines from its visa-waiver program and suspend economic exchanges, fishery cooperation, science and technology cooperation, and bilateral aviation negotiations. Meanwhile, the Ministry of National Defense and the Coast Guard Administration are about to embark on a joint military exercise in the sea south of Taiwan. Taiwan had already taken other punitive measures against the Philippines because Manila's response to the shooting was inadequate, Presidential Office spokeswoman Garfie Li said Wednesday. These include suspending the hiring of Philippine workers, recalling its envoy to Manila in protest at the killing of the fisherman and asking the Philippine envoy in Taiwan to return home to help handle the case. (By Huang Chiao-wen, Lin Meng-ju and Y.L. Kao)


Updated : 2021-09-26 18:50 GMT+08:00