Taiwan’s embassies told to evaluate ties with allies

The foreign ministry has instructed Taiwan's embassies abroad to evaluate the state of ties with the country's diplomatic allies. That was the word from foreign ministry spokesperson Eleanor Wang on Tuesday. Wang said embassies have also been told to produce responses to potential problems in ties.

Taiwan maintains formal diplomatic ties with 20 countries. But there is concern that some of these allies could follow the lead of Panama. The Central American country last week cut ties with Taiwan in favor of Beijing. Asked whether Beijing would seek to persuade more allies to break with Taiwan, Wang said the government continues to be confident and will do its utmost.

The break with Panama also raises questions about the future of the bilateral free trade agreement with Taiwan. Diego Chou, the foreign ministry's head of Latin American affairs, says the government has decided to keep the agreement in force for the moment. Chou said the agreement could continue if Panama also wishes to honor it.

Meanwhile, talks continue on the closure of Taiwan's embassy in Panama and Panama's embassy in Taiwan. Taiwan's ambassador has already left the country, returning home over the weekend.

Source: Radio Taiwan International