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Foreign Minister Wu seeks to clarify Paraguay candidate's China stance

04/20/2023 01:47 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, April 20 (CNA) Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said Thursday the ministry is seeking clarification on Paraguayan presidential candidate Efraín Alegre's position following his reported comments that ties with Taiwan have damaged Paraguay's agricultural sector by shutting it out of the Chinese market.

Speaking with reporters on the sidelines of a Legislative session, Wu admitted he was "concerned" by Alegre's assertion in an interview with Reuters Wednesday that maintaining relations with Taipei had made it hard for Paraguay to sell beef and soy to China.

Wu later told lawmakers that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is "seeking, through various channels, to get a better idea of where the opposition candidate stands on the issue."

Wu said his ministry would continue to do its best to maintain ties with Paraguay, the only country in South America to have diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (Taiwan).

Alegre, who has previously vowed to cut ties with Taipei and form them with Beijing, said Wednesday that the "current relationship is insufficient," vowing to "solve this based on national interests" if elected.

The latest polls show Alegre neck-and-neck with his main rival, the ruling conservative Colorado Party's candidate Santiago Peña, who has pledged to maintain ties with Taiwan.

Meanwhile, Wu's deputy Roy Lee (李淳) said Thursday that no matter which party wins Paraguay's presidential election, the ministry is planning to send representatives to attend the new leader's inauguration to be held in August.

Lee, however, did not say if President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) or Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) would lead the delegation.

(By Joseph Yeh)


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