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Possible worst-case scenario assessed: Presidential Office

2018/08/24 16:41:00

Taipei, Aug. 24 (CNA) As Taiwan still needs to overcome the bad feelings caused by El Salvador's switch of diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) admitted Friday that the government must assess the worst-case scenario if Taiwan is left with no diplomatic allies.

"I believe that the government should have studied all possible scenarios in this regard, including a case in which Taiwan has no more diplomatic parters," Huang said in a radio interview.

On Tuesday, El Salvador broke off its 85-year diplomatic ties with the Republic of China (Taiwan), dealing a fresh blow to Taiwan, which is now formally recognized by only 17 nations.

The diplomatic setback came shortly after President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) returned to Taiwan from a nine-day visit to Paraguay and Belize.

It was the third country to cut ties with Taiwan this year, following the Dominican Republic and Burkina Faso, amid Beijing's money offensive to lure away Taiwan's diplomatic allies.

Asked whether Tsai feels regret about making the visit, Huang replied "of course not," given that it helped Taiwan get greater exposure to the international community.

"No matter what the situation, Taiwan must reach out," he stressed.

Turning to attacks on Tsai from Chinese netizens due to her visit to an outlet of the Taiwan-based 85˚C cafe chain in Los Angeles during a stopover en route to Paraguay, he described the president as a highly composed person and that he did not see her affected by the matter.

Huang ruled out the possibility of the government considering acceptance of the "1992 consensus," which Beijing claims serves as the political foundation for cross-Taiwan Strait interaction, despite unabated saber-rattling from China since Tsai of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party came to power.

"I do believe that President Tsai will be able to hold on," he said.

(By Yeh Su-ping and Flor Wang)
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