Ambassador to Haiti Bernard Liu (劉邦治) has returned to Taiwan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday, reaffirming bilateral relations amid media reports that the diplomatic ally has demanded a new ambassador.
The Caribbean country, with a population of nearly 11 million, was named by the South China Morning Post as Beijing’s next target, after the Solomon Islands and Kiribati switched recognition from Taipei to Beijing in September last year.
Taiwan has 15 remaining allies.
Liu was expelled from Haiti due to “a small incident” related to national sovereignty, the French-language news outlet Haiti24.net reported on Friday last week, quoting Haitian Minister of Foreign Affairs Claude Joseph as saying that Haitian President Jovenel Moise is waiting for a new ambassador.
Without going into details about the incident, Joseph said Taiwan-Haiti relations remain intact, the outlet reported.
Liu had a quarrel with Moise and was asked to leave the country in 72 hours, the Chinese-language Apple Daily reported on Saturday.
Asked about the issue during a news briefing in Taipei yesterday, Department of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs Director-General Alexander Yui (俞大㵢) said that Taiwan is communicating with Haiti about some issues.
It is an ongoing process and does not touch on bilateral ties, Yui said.
The nation highly values its ties with Haiti, so the ministry has asked Liu to explain the situation “for related matters,” he said, without explaining what the “related matters” are.
China has never ceased in its attempts to poach Taiwan’s allies or reduce Taiwan’s global space, even when cross-strait relations appeared to be more peaceful, he added.
As ambassador to Haiti for a second time, Liu is familiar with Haiti’s situation and has defended Taiwan’s stance and principles during negotiations, a source familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity.
Liu did not really leave Haiti in the 72-hour period as ordered, and diplomatic courtesy was still observed during his departure, the source said.
He left in January, but the matter was not revealed until last week, they added.
Taiwan’s project to help the country build electrical grids with a loan of US$150 million has not yet been approved by the Haitian government, but the nation would not change its commitment to helping improve the life of regular Haitians, the source said.
Taiwan is also following through on its promise to donate rice to Haiti in batches, but the total amount planned — more than 20,000 tonnes — might be halved, as the ally is not able to take in so much rice, the source added.
When Liu might return to Haiti has yet to be determined, but he remains the nation’s ambassador to Haiti at present, the source said.
TOO TIRED: Investigators found that the pilot’s lack of alertness could be attributed to a lack of sleep the previous night, when he had slept with his child It was a copilot’s inappropriate operation of the aircraft and the pilot’s insufficient alertness that led to a hard landing of a China Airlines cargo flight on Dec. 13, 2018, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. Flight CI6844, a Boeing 747-409 which departed from Hong Kong International Airport, landed on the pre-threshold area of runway L5 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, about 21m before the head of the runway, an investigation report said. The hard landing damaged three runway lights, but none of the personnel on board sustained any injuries, the report said. When approaching the runway, the copilot failed to maintain
DISTRUST WARRANTED? The WHO is under China’s control and has become a useless organization, while data from China cannot be trusted, a Control Yuan member said China’s demand that the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, not be referred to with names like the “Wuhan pneumonia” betrays its lack of confidence in itself, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told lawmakers yesterday. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) asked Su, during a interpellation at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, for his view on China’s attempts to redeem its national image in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These included China’s efforts to “bleach” its image, including having WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus publicly praise its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, and thanking it for buying time
REPEAT OFFENDER: The man went outside for exercise on Wednesday and then left his home on Saturday with his girlfriend, officials said A New Taipei City man has been fined NT$400,000 (US$13,221) and ordered into government quarantine after breaking home quarantine for a second time on Saturday. The 25-year-old man, surnamed Chen (陳) returned to Taiwan on Sunday last week and was ordered to home quarantine until Sunday. He was seen leaving his home on a scooter with his girlfriend on Saturday, three days after he was fined NT$200,000 for going outside to exercise, police said. Chen has now been placed in a quarantine center arranged by the district office and health center of the district where he lives, police said. Police warned the public
Taipei residents who stay at hotels in the city during their 14-day mandatory quarantine period are eligible to apply for the city’s NT$7,000 subsidy, with online applications to be launched next week. Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) on Monday said Taipei residents who have COVID-19 Health Declaration and Home Quarantine Notice dated after March 19 and a quarantine hotel receipt for the dates covered by the quarantine period, would be eligible for the subsidy. The Taipei City Government on Sunday told the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) that so many city residents are under home quarantine that about 90 percent of