Date: Mar 16, 2017
By: Lu Yi-hsuan and William Hetherington / Staff reporter, with staff writer
Improving relations between Taiwan and the Sovereign Military Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta point to the possibility of formal diplomatic ties in the future, Forbes magazine reported on Monday.
Founded in 1048 and headquartered in Rome, the Order of Malta has sovereignty under international law and has permanent observer status at the UN. It maintains a military with three brigades that communicate through the Italian Armed Forces, as well as a permanent membership of 13,500 knights, 25,000 medical personnel and 80,000 volunteers worldwide. Its official language is Italian, but French is also widely used.
Forbes said that while a diplomatic relationship is not guaranteed, it might be possible and it would be a “symbolic win” for Taiwan.
“Based on this collaboration, we are confident we can develop and deepen relations with the Republic of China,” order communications director Eugenio Ajroldi di Robbiate was quoted as saying. [FULL STORY]