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MOFA: No checkbook diplomacy in state visits
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-01-23 03:52 PM
President Ma Ying-jeou will kick off his eight-day tour to three of Taiwan's allied countries in Africa and Central America Thursday night. Ma will start his official trip in Sao Tome and Principe and then Burkina Faso and Honduras to attend the inauguration of President-elect Juan Orlando Hernandez January 27 before returning to Taipei through Los Angeles.

The island nation Sao Tome and Principe is the last remaining ally Ma has yet to visit since he first took office in 2008. This will be Ma's ninth state visit while in office. Last November Sao Tome Premier Gabriel da Costa visited Taiwan and presented a letter on behalf of Pinto da Costa to Ma with invitation to visit the country.

Lately Ma's trip has been described by some media as a practitioner of checkbook diplomacy to splash out huge amount of money or aids to financially stressed allies. In response to the rumors, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) spokeswoman Anna Kao stressed that all the state-to-state loans or cooperative projects with allied countries have been carried out in accordance with three principles under Ma’s viable diplomacy: serving righteous purpose, based on the laws, and being effectively executed. Kao stated that viable diplomacy is never equal to checkbook diplomacy. All the financial aids to foreign countries are designed to provide substantial assistance to their people or to develop education.

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