Original Title: Did Chen Shui-Bien drop the diplomatic ball big time?
I’ve heard on the news tonight that Chen Shui Bien went to the Vatican embassy to pay his respects. Apparently The Vatican invited him to attend the Pope’s funeral. Taiwan has very few friends on the world stage and only one that isn’t about dollar diplomacy, so I would think it would be a good chance to give Taiwan some visibility and credibility.
Regardless of what one thinks of the Catholic church or the Pope, the Vatican recognises Taiwan and attending the Pope’s funeral would give Chen the opportunity to at least be in the same room as the likes of Bush, Blair, Chirac and Annan and most importantly, without China being there to push him away.
And from what I hear, he’s decided not to go. Anyone else heard about this?
I would not go either but I would send young anette, if I were him!
Annette Lu is about as diplomatic as a wet fart in a library. Go back to running the best western pub in Taipei Taverncaptain…
I think Taiwan’s President blew it. Come to think of it, it is pretty arrogant to blow off the Pope. What more can you expect from a government with no experience in anything, just like our Chief Executive.
Maybe he’s trying to show he is now ‘genuine’ about getting good straits relations. Naaaah.
I’m sure he’d love to go, but he would need visa. I believe that the Vatican does have the power to issue visas, but CSB would have to go through Italy to get there. Would Italy issue him a visa? China would throw a sissy-fit if they did.
If that’s the case, he should have accepted, and then when China denied him the ability to attend the funeral of the Pope, they would be the ones coming off looking like arseholes.
It’s true, but immensely powerfull assholes. The type of assholes that could blow up a real shit storm.
exactly. the italian govt would have had pressure from the vatican to allow CSB to visit and also from the Chinese to deny him a visa. guess who one.
Has anyone read somewhere that this is what happened, or is it still conjecture at this point?
early days yet.
CSB got the invitation, but according to papers, he’s planning on sending one of the Yuan chairmen. I guess it won’t be Frank Hsieh, but one of the less offensive ones, Fredrick Chien of the Control Yuan or Yao Jiawen of the Exam Yuan. Low profile guys who won’t attract any attention.
I agree with Dog’s Breakfast, CSB needs a visa from Italy, and they never will give him one. Let alone having the Vatican “pressuring” Italy into giving him one. The Vatican have other stuff to handle now.
Personally, I think Taiwan should send either Frank Hsieh or the foreign minister. Who knows, they might get away with it.
I’ll go if they can’t find anyone else.
my ‘ears and eyes’ told me…
Did Chen Shuibian drop the diplomatic ball big time?
Yes. He should have accepted the invitation and used it as an opportunity to bring some attention to the fact that so many countries in the world allow China to set their foriegn policy. He should of course have also arranged for someone to go in his place in the likely event that Italy refused the Visa.
Vatican mulls cutting ties with Taiwan
[quote]The Holy See had been thinking of giving up Taiwan.
This is a difficult decision, but it has decided to do it.[/quote]
The funny thing is - the link on the Google News page looks like this:
…but when you click on the link you get this:
Well, if they simply hand in a visa for him and it get’s rejected then it looks bad and of course the PRC put pressure on Italy not to issue a visa. Understand that the MOFA is talking to the Italians and they to make a decision later today. My guess is that the Italians will issue a transit visa to CSB, apparently there is an agreement between Italy and the vatican for cases like that.
The Liberty Times (not always reliable) reported this morning that the Italian government had agreed late last night to let Chen go to the Vatican and to treat him as a head of state. The Chen administration was still working out the details of whether Chen would go on a commercial flight or on his presidential jet.
libertytimes.com/2005/new/ap … ay-fo1.htm
But the China Times is quoting the Presidential Office as saying this morning that nothing has been decided yet although a decision needs to be reached today.
news.chinatimes.com/Chinatimes/n … 14,00.html
Chen wants to go, but China is probably pressuring the Italians right now to deny him entry to Rome outright or to grant him entry as an ordinary visitor. Unfortunately, Chen will probably refuse to travel to Rome if he is not treated as a head of state in another maddening display of Taiwan’s fascination with meaningless protocol. Leave it to the MOFA to screw this up.
I think this is the first time in many many moons any Head of State from TAIWAN has had the chance to act as a Head of State in the same room as others (not counting the 20+ countries recognising TW)… therefore it is a big deal.
Can you seriously imagine CSB accepting to go as an ordinary citizen. I, as a white, foreign supporter of TW independence would be disappointed. The DPP faithful would have his guts for garters.