6 Apr 2006

Northern Marianas seeking legal view on contact with Taiwan

8:33 pm on 6 April 2006

The Northern Marianas government is seeking a legal opinion on whether it is contravening any agreement with the US over a planned trip to Taiwan.

After endorsing Taiwan's bid to particpate in the World Health Assembly last year, the administration was invited to Taipei.

The CNMI governor was to take up the invitation this month however plans have stalled because of the US's One-China policy which does not recognise Taiwan.

The CNMI is a US territory and its foreign policy is supposed to be directed by Washington DC.

The CNMI press secretary Charles Reyes says his government wants to encourage trade and investment but it doesn't want any trouble.

"We want to welcome Taiwanese tourists and Chinese tourists but we don't want to be creating any kind of international row. We welcome and we're friendly to both governments and to the United States, of course, we have certain obligations and we want to respect thos obligations and legal requirements."