DEAR EDITOR, Radio New Zealand news bulletins in recent days have significantly focused on Taiwanese affairs and none perhaps more so than the news bulletin broadcast on 12 September 2018.
“Republican and Democratic US senators have introduced legislation to discourage Taiwan’s few remaining allies from switching their allegiance to China.
“El Salvador became the third country this year to move towards Beijing.
“The legislation would authorise the State Department to downgrade US relations with any government that shifts away from Taiwan, and to suspend or alter US assistance.
“It also requires a US strategy to engage with governments to support Taiwan’s diplomatic recognition or strengthen unofficial ties with Taiwan.
“Washington does not recognise Taipei diplomatically but considers it a staunch ally in the Pacific Rim.
“The Pacific island region is important for Taiwan with Palau, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Nauru, Tuvalu and Kiribati all recognising Taipei over Beijing.”
Other news items quoted:
“Palau will start importing fresh produce from Taiwan for the first time next month, in a breakaway from its reliance on the United States.
“Island Times reported a group from a Taiwanese agricultural products supplier was in Palau last week to showcase products.
“Palau’s Agriculture Director Fernando Sengebau said an agreement with the supplier was reached in August after working with Taiwan’s ambassador to Palau, Harry Tseng.
“Most of Palau’s agricultural products are imported from the US, but imports from Taiwan will take around 10 days less to arrive.”
Also, “Taiwan has set up a $US2 million medical fund to boost co-operation with countries in the Pacific Islands Forum.
“All Forum members can apply for funding to support medical teams from Taiwan travelling to their countries to provide medical services at Republic of China (Taiwan) embassies or representative offices.
“Of the 18 members of the Forum, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu are diplomatic allies of Taiwan.”