PHILIPPINES TURN AWAY TAIWAN VICE PRESIDENT

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Nov. 25) - The Philippines has barred a planned visit to Manila by Taiwan's Vice President, Annette Lu, and Foreign Minister, Eugene Chien, after a warning from China that it could dampen bilateral ties.

Philippine Foreign Secretary, Blas Ople, says Manila has refused to issue visas to the two officials, in line with its recognition of the one-China policy that says China is the legitimate government and Taiwan is a renegade province.

However, Mr Ople says the Taiwan Economic Minister, Lin Yi-fu, will be allowed to attend a business conference in Manila this week.

The three Taiwanese ministers were to have flown to Manila for meetings of the Asia Overseas Chinese Federation and the Philippines-Taiwan Business Council from November 25 to 28.

They had also sought meetings with Philippine President, Gloria Arroyo, and Mr Ople.

"It's often incumbent upon us to reiterate policies once in a while in order to avoid confusion. Clearly the visit of these officials would not be consistent with this (one-China) policy," Mr Ople said.

Last year Manila shelved a plan to buy surplus F-5E fighter jets from Taipei after Beijing warned the deal would violate the one-China policy.

November 25, 2003

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

 

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