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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (July 7, 1999 - The National)---Papua New Guinea's sovereignty should not be sold cheaply under economic desperation, former Prime Minister Sir Julius Chan said yesterday.

Sir Julius said the government has no plans whatsoever to rescue the country and was looking to sell it cheaply.

"Is the money free aid or is it a loan?" Sir Julius asked.

He said the country should not be destroyed by one person in his disastrous mismanagement of the economy and the public service.

"We built this country over 25 years and he is destroying it in seven days.

"What international credibility has this man who is out to destroy our country? We cannot sell our image and status for a few pieces of silver," he said.

Sir Julius was expressing his disgust after media reports that Prime Minister Bill Skate and Foreign Affairs Minister Roy Yaki had given full diplomatic recognition to Taiwan over the weekend in return for a US$ 2.5 billion (K 6.75 billion) soft loan from Taiwan.

Sir Julius said the PNG's One China policy should be respected and maintained at all costs for security, economic and strategic reasons.

China has sweeping powers in the United Nations Security Council; has great influence over the IMF, World Bank, APEC, the ASEAN Development Bank and other major international financial institutions.

"If the Prime Minister thinks selling PNG's birthright for US$ 2.5 billion was right then he's got it all wrong," Sir Julius said.

"This country will be heading for the worst if a decision has been made to fully recognize Taiwan," he said.

Sir Julius said he left the country on a good financial footing after the 1997 elections.

"The public service was intact but has been destroyed.

"The Look North and One China policies were still in place and are going to be destroyed by a government that has no foreign policy," he said.


PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (July 7, 1999 - The National)---Former Foreign Affairs and Trade Secretary Gabriel Dusava has described full diplomatic relations with Taiwan as an unprofessional and disastrous foreign policy.

Mr. Dusava said although he did not oppose the financial package, he condemned the secretive and unprofessional manner in which the government and officials had handled the policy.

Mr. Dusava was commenting on Prime Minister Bill Skate and Foreign Affairs Minister Roy Yaki entering PNG into a full diplomatic relationship with Taiwan over the weekend.

Mr. Dusava said full diplomatic ties with Taiwan would create strong repercussions on PNG's economic and diplomatic front including ADB, APEC, WTO and security issues PNG may initiate from time to time in the UN or at regional conferences.

"I wonder why the government has been so secretive in its approach towards foreign policy making since it came into office? Why wait this late?" questioned Mr. Dusava.

Mr. Dusava said he was sorry that the most cherished and respected One China policy which was maintained since 1976 has now been threatened, if not destroyed by a quick stroke of the pen to support our failing economy by a government facing a vote of no confidence.

"I am not against the financial package, which is good for the country at this time, but it is the secretive and unprofessional manner in which the government and the professionals had applied themselves," Mr. Dusava said.

He said he believed the repercussions would be severe and PNG would be in for a tough time on international forays because "we are dealing with the diplomatic, security and sovereign might of China."

He said he hoped a change of government would review the full diplomatic tie with Taiwan and try to restore the diplomatic communiqué signed with China in 1976.

For additional reports from The National, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The National (Papua New Guinea).

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