Foreign minister to stay in post despite latest diplomatic setback

Taipei, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (???) said Friday he has changed his mind on resignation and will remain in his post to strive for Taiwan's survival in the international community.

"President Tsai Ing-wen (???) thinks that Taiwan's performance in the field of foreign affairs has not been poor over the past few months and thinks there is no need (for me) to resign," Wu said.

Wu offered to resign Thursday after Burkina Faso announced that it was cutting ties with Taiwan due to "the firm desire of the government of Burkina Faso to defend the interests of Burkina Faso and its people in the concert of nations."

Asked about the issue that same day, Presidential Office spokesman Sidney Lin (???) said "there is no such thing (as Wu's resignation)."

Burkina Faso is the second country to have severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan in less than 30 days, after the Dominican Republic took the same route on April 30.

Although the Burkina Faso made no direct mention of China when making the announcement, Beijing later praised the decision.

Cross-Taiwan Strait relations have been strained since Tsai of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party assumed office in May 2016, rekindling a diplomatic tug-of-war between Taiwan and China.

The latest diplomatic setback leaves Taiwan with only 18 allies.

Over the past two years, four countries have cut ties with Taiwan as a result of pressure from Beijing.

On Friday, Wu also came out in defense of Taiwan's assistance to other countries, saying that there is still ample room for the country to make greater efforts in this regard, as Taiwan's assistance to other countries accounts for only 0.013 percent of its gross domestic product -- far lower than the 0.7 percent set by the United Nations for developed countries.

"Taiwan must not forgo its responsibility to help other countries in need," he said. "This is not what is called checkbook diplomacy. This is just diplomacy."

He encouraged Taiwan's people to note what Taiwan's agricultural and medical care missions have done in countries that maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel