Gov’t to protest China defense summit pressure


By Joseph Yeh, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The government is “dissatisfied” over mainland pressure that led to a Taiwanese delegation’s last-minute withdrawal from an international defense summit held in Indonesia last week, the foreign minister said yesterday. “The ministry will issue a protest to Beijing over the incident,” Minister David Lin (林永樂) said in the Legislative Yuan when asked to comment on the delegation’s barring from the third Jakarta International Defense Dialogue (JIDD). According to the information he received from Taiwan’s top envoy to Indonesia, China’s ambassador to the East Asian country pressured the Indonesian government regarding Taiwan’s JIDD participation, ultimately resulting in the delegation’s withdrawal. The ministry has expressed its dissatisfaction over the incident to the Indonesian government.

Lin said that Beijing’s actions have had a “negative impact” on cross-strait ties, and called on the Chinese government to respect Taiwan’s participation in international events. Two Taiwanese professors, Ma Cheng-kun (馬振坤) of the National Defense University and Alexander Huang (黃介正) from Tamkang University, as well as two officials from the nation’s representative office in Indonesia, had been scheduled to participate in the meeting.

The UK-based Financial Times reported Thursday that the four-person delegation had planned to attend the two-day forum but was forced to pull out at the last minute after Beijing lodged a protest with the Indonesian government about Taiwan’s presence. The third JIDD, joined by 500-plus defense specialists from 38 countries, was convened to promote dialogue in the region and to discuss strengthening defense and diplomacy among participating countries.