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Envoy to Indonesia handled China's suppression properly: MOFA

  • Source:National Immigration Agency, Ministry of the Interior
  • Date:2009/7/28
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Taipei, July 27 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Monday said Taiwan's representative to Indonesia properly handled an incident last year in which he was put under pressure by China, but it denied that the envoy was asked to leave the exhibition he was attending.

MOFA deputy spokesman James Chang challenged the accuracy of a report by the Liberty Times that said Timothy Yang, head of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Jakarta, was asked to leave an Indonesian orchid expo held in Bali Oct. 19, 2008.

The report said the Taiwanese envoy left the event through the back door after officials from the Chinese embassy told the organizer that they would not attend the expo if Yang stayed.

"The report is completely different from the truth,"Chang said.

According to Chang, Yang, who is the de facto ambassador to Indonesia in the absence of formal diplomatic relations between Taiwan and the Southeast Asian country, was invited by the wife of the Indonesian vice president to the orchid expo, and he stayed through the entire event.

The envoy, however, was asked by the Indonesian government to change his seat from the right side of the VIP section designated for members of the diplomatic corps to the first row of the left side section at the request of China, Chang said.

Yang was seated next to the daughter of former Indonesian president Suharto and the wife of Indonesia's former environmental minister, he added.

To protest such an arrangement, Yang expressed his objection to the Indonesian government, saying that politics should not be involved in such a cultural event, according to Chang.

He denied that the incident represented a setback in President Ma Ying-jeou's effort to broker a"diplomatic truce"with China.

"Yang properly handled the situation by clearly expressing our stance, as any belittling of our country is not acceptable, "the deputy spokesman said, adding that the organizer and the Indonesian government later apologized to Yang.

Chang said, however, that given the improved relations with China, both sides of the Taiwan Strait should take a forward-looking and positive attitude on bilateral interactions and try to create a win-win-win situation for Taiwan, China and the international community.

Since Ma took office last May, his administration has been seeking a flexible and moderate diplomatic strategy that favors a "diplomatic truce"with China to end the long-standing tug-of-war between the two countries in the international arena and seek more international space for Taiwan. (By Rachel Chan) Enditem/ls

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  • Updated: 2010/9/7 14:33:00