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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

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Not Gonna Stand For it

David Lague of the IHT has a good story on the breakdown of negotiations over the Olympic torch route with a nice quote from Foreign Minister James Huang:

Taiwanese officials say the Chen administration was prepared to agree that the Chinese Taipei Olympic flag would be the only one officially displayed. That flag, which bears the emblem of Taiwan's Olympic committee on a white background, has been used since the 1984 Games.

But officials say they would be powerless to stop Taiwanese citizens from waving the flag of the Republic of China, the island's official name - or any other flag, for that matter.

"In an authoritarian country, it may not be a problem at all," said Taiwan's foreign minister, James Huang. "But in Taiwan, things do not work in the Chinese way.

"The Taiwanese government cannot agree to issue an order that disrespects and infringes on the rights of the people, and the people will not allow it to do so."


[my emphasis]

It is worth noting that after seven years, Chen finally has his people in the three key positions that control Taiwan's relations with the outside world:

Foreign Minister: James Huang
De facto US Ambassador: Joseph Wu
GIO Minister and EY spokesman: Shieh Jhy-wey

All three are showing very positive signs that they know how to engage the world in terms of Taiwanese democracy as Huang's comments above show and Shieh's remarkable performance in New York last weekend.

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