16 May 2008

PNG paper obtains 2006 draft deal with Taiwan

3:25 pm on 16 May 2008

The Post Courier newspaper in Papua New Guinea says it has obtained a draft communique between Taiwan and the PNG government relating to the establishment of full diplomatic relations.

The paper says the document was signed by the national planning minister, Paul Tiensten, in Port Moresby in September 2006.

The draft deal stated that Taiwan was to assist PNG in social and economic development, including in areas such as agriculture, tourism and culture, urban development and planning, education and training as well as the overall promotion of investment.

Mr Tiensten had earlier said he upheld the One China Policy which the prime minister, Sir Michael Somare, had signed up to in 1976.

In another development, private lawyer Dr Florian Gubon claimed the prime minister had authorised a trip to Taiwan which was led by Mr Tiensten, including his first secretary and chairman of the Public Accounts Committee Timothy Bonga and himself.

The revelations come amid a scandal in Taiwan which has seen the resignation of three ministers.