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Vol 2 (AAC) No 12

Published 1st October 2009


Chin-tien (Timothy) Yang

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Taiwan

One of the Taiwan's most experienced Africanist diplomats now appointed as Foreign Minister, Chin-tien (Timothy) Yang keeps carefully to the new script which paradoxically downplays the importance of Taipei's African allies. In his first weeks as Foreign Minister, Yang studiously supported President Ma Ying-jeou's 'modus vivendi' diplomacy, whose main tenet is that Taiwan should avoid disrupting the efforts of Ma's government to cultivate new economic and political ties with the Middle Kingdom. Accordingly, Taiwan has abandoned its annual bid for UN recognition. Taiwan pressed instead for 'meaningful participation' in two UN agencies and the advocacy of Taiwan's 23 allies was not requested. Yang used the words 'pragmatic' and 'practical' to describe his viewpoint, promising to avoid shake-ups in diplomatic relations.

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