No Ma, Ramos meeting set: MOFA


CNA

TAIPEI — No arrangements have been made for former Philippine president Fidel Ramos to meet with the president or the foreign minister in his five-day visit to Taiwan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday.

Sources said Ramos will meet with Vice President Vincent Siew instead.

Ramos will arrive in Taiwan amid a diplomatic row between Taiwan and the Philippines over the latter’s deportation of 14 Taiwanese fraud suspects to China on Feb. 2.

It still remains unclear whether Siew and Ramos will touch upon the controversy during their meeting.

MOFA and the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) in Taipei both maintained that Ramos’s visit is a private trip focused on sports and business.

Ramos is leading a 35-member delegation to Taiwan from March 3 to 7, during which the 82-year-old senior politician will attend a golf tournament, visit Hsinchu Science Park and meet with the Hsinchu and Changhua county magistrates.

“The ‘One-China’ policy should not have been invoked by the Aquino Administration as the basis for that controversial deportation,” Ramos said in a press release issued Wednesday by his private foundation.

The hard-line position of “no apology” from the Philippine government “has endangered the economic synergy that exists between the two countries,” Ramos said, referring to Taiwan’s subsequent retaliatory measures against Filipino workers in Taiwan.