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China's snatching of Taiwan's allies will alienate public: lawmakers

2018/05/24 21:29:11

CNA file photo

Taipei, May 24 (CNA) Local lawmakers across party lines said Thursday that Beijing's suppression of Taiwan internationally will only stir negative emotions among the Taiwanese people towards China, after Burkina Faso switched diplomatic recognition to China earlier in the day.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) announced Thursday evening that the two countries had cut diplomatic ties, reducing the number of Taiwan's diplomatic allies to 18.

Burkina Faso, meanwhile, said that the decision was made to "defend the interests of Burkina Faso and its people in the concert of nations," according to Reuters.

While Burkina Faso made no mention of China, lawmakers in Taiwan's four major parties all pointed their fingers at Beijing.

Ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative caucus whip Ho Hsin-chun (何欣純) told CNA that the Burkina Faso case was a display of China's full-blown suppression of Taiwan on the international stage.

She said China's tactics to relentlessly exclude Taiwan from any international participation was unwise as it would only spur disgust and anger among the Taiwanese people.

Nonetheless, all Taiwan can do is find a way to carve out its own international path, Ho said.

Opposition Kuomintang (KMT) caucus leader Lee Yen-hsiu (李彥秀) expressed similar sentiments, saying that Beijing's way of warning Taiwan about cross-strait relations by snatching its diplomatic allies will only distance China from the Taiwanese public.

Lee advised that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs get in touch with its remaining allies to pacify them and get a better grasp of the level of their commitment.

Legislative caucus whips Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) of the New Power Party and Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) of the People First Party suggested that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) adopt a new approach to diplomacy and dealing with China.

Hsu said the latest development shows that China is ramping up the pressure against Taiwan, therefore, the government must come up with a new strategy to stand its ground and find a true path towards becoming a normal country.

Lee, meanwhile, said the two sides should stop competing for allies and start talking to each other.

"Stop forcing Tsai's hand because when you do that you are forcing Taiwan's hand," Lee said, directing his comments at China.

(By Justin Su, Liu Kuan-ting, Fan Cheng-hsiang and Kuan-lin Liu)