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President touts benefits of flexible diplomacy as tour gets underway

President touts benefits of flexible diplomacy as tour gets underway

Taipei, Aug. 12 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou took to Facebook on Monday, the first of a 12-day diplomatic tour to the Americas, to tout the "continued success" of his administration's policy of flexible diplomacy. In the post, Ma compares his foreign policy with that of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which adopted what he calls a "scorched earth" policy that made Taiwan's tricky diplomacy position even more difficult by alienating potential allies and angering China. During a visit to Australia during the DPP administration, for example, he said he had to endure inquiries about whether Taiwan was using checkbook diplomacy to influence an election in the Solomon Islands, one of the few countries that recognizes Taipei. By promoting a more open and flexible foreign policy, he writes, Taiwan has won back international trust, as proven by the 133 countries and regions that now offer Taiwanese citizens visa-free entry or landing visas. This is the result of building cooperative relations based on reciprocity and mutual respect, he writes. Ma set out from Taiwan on Sunday on a tour that will cover diplomatic ally Paraguay, where he will attend the inauguration of that country's new president, and Taiwan's four allies in the Caribbean -- Haiti, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and St. Christopher and Nevis. Paraguay is the only South American country with formal diplomatic ties with the Republic of China (ROC), the official name of Taiwan's government. Ma's Facebook also notes that "this is the first time an ROC president has visited Haiti," though the countries have enjoyed diplomatic ties for 57 years. (By Lee Shu-hua and Y.L. Kao)


Updated : 2021-03-06 08:11 GMT+08:00