Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cambodia nixes Taiwan trade office over ‘one China’

President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) promise that China would be more amenable to Taiwan inking free-trade deals or integrating with other regional economies after signing the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) was put into question after reports revealed that Cambodia turned down a request by Taipei to open a representative office because of Phnom Penh’s “one China” policy.

The Phnom Penh Post last week quoted Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen (seen above, left, with Chinese President Hu Jintao) as saying that Taiwan could not establish a trade office in Cambodia because the country abides by the “one China” principle, prompting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Aug. 11 to issue a statement emphasizing the Republic of China’s status as a sovereign and independent country.

Any Cambodian official departing from the “one China” policy and seeking to allow Taiwan to open a representative office would be dismissed, the Post said.

As Taiwan seeks to sign trade agreements with regional economies — especially ASEAN members — opening trade offices constitutes a crucial step toward achieving this goal.

This article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.

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