‘ARBITRARY, OUT OF TOUCH’:The office did not confirm the report of a visit to Central America. Critics questioned the necessity and expense during Ma’s ‘caretaker period’
Date: Feb 19, 2016
By: Stacy Hsu / Staff reporter
The Presidential Office yesterday downplayed criticism over a report that
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is to visit some of the nation’s diplomatic allies next month, saying a nation’s diplomacy should always be uninterrupted.
“Diplomacy, of which the president is in charge, is a matter for all Taiwanese and it must remain continuous at all times. There is no such a thing as ‘caretaker’ in this matter,” Presidential Office spokesman Charles Chen (陳以信) said in a news release.
Chen said that for a nation facing diplomatic difficulties such as Taiwan, it is vital to cement relations with its diplomatic allies, which is also essential to maintaining Ma’s “viable diplomacy” policy.
The public should prioritize the national interest, Chen said, but declined to comment on the report.
However, he added that it is customary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to announce the president’s overseas visits at an opportune time. [FULL STORY]