17 Aug 2006

Taiwan rejects New Zealand allegations of cheque book diplomacy

1:34 pm on 17 August 2006

Taiwan says it is pragmatic and realistic about its aid money and cannot indulge in chequebook diplomacy as alleged by New Zealand's Foreign Minister, Winston Peters.

The spokesman for Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Michael Lu, says Taiwan could never match China which is rich and can spend money as it wants.

He says Taiwan is a democracy which must be accountable and transparent in the way its aid programmes operate.

Mr Peters said Taiwan's involvement in the recent blow-up in Solomon Islands was irrefutable, its direct cash transfers impaired the potential for the growth of democracy, and that things couldn't be done like that.

But, Mr Lu says Taiwan has never been interested in influencing domestic issues in other countries.


IN: It is necessary to maintain good contact with the different leaders in each country but the domestic affairs is not our interest. It is, you know, domestic affairs, and for the diplomatic service, it is not our domain to work.

DUR: 15

Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, spokesman, Michael Lu.