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Labour 'Cowardly' Over Taiwanese Visit

Labour 'Cowardly' Over Taiwanese Visit

Wednesday 1 Sep 2004

Ken Shirley - Press Releases - Foreign Affairs

The Labour Government's extraordinary efforts to dissuade Taiwanese Minister of State Lin Yi-Fu from visiting New Zealand are both offensive and cowardly, ACT New Zealand Foreign Affairs and Trade Spokesman Ken Shirley said today.

"Taiwan is an important and valued trading partner for New Zealand. While a closer and enhanced trading relationship with the People's Republic of China is welcome, we should not kowtow to unreasonable expectations and demands from Beijing.

"Tension across the Taiwanese Strait has been escalating. But it is clear that PRC is the aggressor, deploying more than 120 IBM missiles along the Fujian coast pointed at Taiwan. Labour's action can only serve to condone that aggression.

"Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff's claim, that it is in New Zealand's best interests that the Taiwanese Minister of State not visit New Zealand, invites ridicule - particularly when Mr Goff is prepared to strut the world stage and be photographed holding hands with Yasser Arafat," Mr Shirley said.


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