MOFA quiet on reports of Tsai US trip

08 March, 2023

Courtesy of ICRT


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) says there are currently "no concrete plans" for President Tsai Ing-wen to travel overseas.


The statement comes amid reports that Tsai is slated to travel to Guatemala and Belize in April and will transit in the United States, where she will meet with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California.


During a legislative hearing, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said overseas trips by the head of the state are an important part of the Foreign Ministry's work and the ministry will make proper arrangements for the president's potential state visit."


Wu went on to say that "it would be inappropriate to make public details of such a trip before related preparations have been finalized." The Presidential Office is also remaining tight-lipped about Tsai's travel plans. Office spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka said her office has "no comment" on the contents of the reports. She also said if the president has any travel plans and an itinerary is finalized, it will be formally announced in the usual manner.


Meanwhile, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) is slamming comments by China's foreign minister regarding Taiwan.


Speaking at his first media appearance since being appointed to the post, and holding a copy of China's constitution, Qin Gang had told reporters "Taiwan is part of the sacred territory of the People's Republic of China". He went on to say that it's "the sacred duty of all the Chinese people, including fellow Chinese in Taiwan, to achieve the great reunification of the motherland."

The Mainland Affairs Council says it "resolutely opposes such commentary" and "Beijing has no right to demand that other countries acknowledge its views." The council said the basis for "status quo" and regional peace is that "both sides remain independent of each other" and Beijing's "one China" principle is both a "distortion of the facts and abases Taiwanese sovereignty."


The council is also stressing that "Republic of China is a sovereign and independent nation and has never been a part of the PRC, nor is Taiwan a part of Beijing's governance."


In other cross-Strait news, Taiwan’s minister of the Ministry of National Defence (MND) Chiu Kuo-cheng is stressing that comments he made earlier this week concerning the military's opening fire on Chinese forces if they enter Taiwan's territorial waters or airspace was "not meant as a provocation to Beijing."


The minister says the comments were "simply a reaffirmation of the military's job to protect the island's sovereignty."


According to Chiu, as a former serviceman, he "doesn't wish to see a cross-strait conflict break out, but this does not mean that Taiwan needs to keep backing down amid mounting Chinese military coercion."


Chiu also says that it's Taiwan's "armed forces' duty to mount an appropriate response to such aggression." The statements come after the MND minister earlier this week told lawmakers that the military will fire at China's forces, including drones and aircraft, if they enter Taiwan's 12-nautical-mile line.

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