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TAIWAN'S RELATIONS WITH TUVALU NORMAL: SPOKESMAN


Taipei, Oct. 7 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Saturday that relations with Tuvalu are normal and without problems.
However, MOFA spokesman Michel Lu also said Taiwan will be on guard against China's relentless efforts to lure away Taiwan's allies.
He made the remarks in response to media reports that relations with the South Pacific ally are "in jeopardy" and that the ministry abruptly replaced its ambassador in a bid to thwart China's attempt to undermine Taiwan diplomatically ahead of the Oct. 10 National Day celebrations.
Reports said that the MOFA announced earlier this week that Ambassador Feng Tai will be replaced by Liao Tung-chou, deputy director of the ministry's Department of International Organizations.
Lu said that "personnel changes are normal" and that Feng's return to the ministry has nothing to do with what the paper claimed "floundering diplomatic relations." During his term as ambassador to Tuvalu, Feng has helped cement bilateral relations, Lu said, adding that his return to the ministry is the result of normal rotation of diplomatic staff.
On reports that relations between Taiwan and Tuvalu have been shaky for some time, and that when President Chen Shui-bian visited Palau to attend a summit with leaders of Taiwan's allies in the South Pacific in early September, the Tuvalu premier nearly missed the summit, Lu explained that Tuvalu had just completed an election then and that the premier nearly missed the summit because of a busy schedule.
(By Lilian Wu) ENDITEM/J