Sunday, December 12, 2010

US governor nixes visit due to China

Even on matters of trade, China continues to deny Taiwan the international space that would truly stand for goodwill

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon planned to visit Taiwan on a trade mission this week — until the Chinese consulate and business leaders said the visit could “anger” the Chinese government and harm an airport deal with China, forcing him to scuttle the trip, reports said.

Nixon, who last year attended the signing of an agreement between Taiwanese and Missouri business groups in his office, had announced on Dec. 1 that he would head a trade mission to Taiwan and South Korea from Dec. 10 to Dec. 16. While in Taiwan, the governor was scheduled to be party to the signing of a letter of intent on a US$600 million purchase of Missouri agricultural products by the Taiwanese government, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Nixon was to be accompanied by a large delegation of government and business officials, including representatives of agricultural organizations.

One day after Nixon’s announcement, Mike Jones, chairman of the Midwest China Hub Commission (MCHC), sent the governor a letter on behalf of the commission asking that the visit be postponed. A representative of the Chinese government was afraid the trip would be received negatively in Beijing, the letter allegedly said.

My article on the matter, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.

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