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Taiwan responds to PM’s remarks

THE Taiwanese government has issued a statement emphasising its status as a “sovereign independent” nation following Prime Minister Hun Sen’s remarks supporting Beijing’s One-China policy.

In a speech at a development forum on Monday, Hun Sen said that provincial governors who permitted the establishment of Taiwanese government bureaus at the sub-national level would be “fired immediately”.

He also told governors not to allow the display of Taiwanese flags or the celebration of Taiwanese ceremonies, warning there would be “disaster” if his instructions were disobeyed.

“We follow the One-China policy,” he said. “Taiwan is just one province of the People’s Republic of China.”

It is our sincere hope that Cambodia will abandon its outdated ideology....

The policy claims that Taiwan is an inalienable part of mainland China and envisions its peaceful reunification under Beijing’s sovereignty.
The premier’s comments drew the ire of Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which said that Cambodia should adopt an “open and pragmatic” attitude towards trade with Taipei.

“It is our sincere hope that Cambodia will abandon its outdated ideology and adopt a more pragmatic and open attitude, and expand the mutually beneficial economic and trade exchanges of Taiwan in Cambodia,” its statement said.

“Continuing these unfriendly remarks”, would only make Taiwanese investors “hesitant” to invest in Cambodia.

Taiwan was the sixth-largest foreign investor in Cambodia, and trade between Taiwan and the Kingdom hit US$336 million in 2009, the statement said.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong could not be reached yesterday, but said earlier that although Cambodia had never recognised Taiwan as an independent nation, Hun Sen’s remarks should not affect trade. “I don’t think this will impact on Taiwanese businessmen in Cambodia – they can do business as usual,” he said. “We are talking about politics here.”

Chinese Embassy spokesman Qian Hai said on Monday that China “appreciated” Hun Sen’s support on the Taiwanese issue, and that Beijing was not opposed to Taiwan’s pursuing “private” business in Cambodia.

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