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Friday, February 09, 2007

Taiwan's involvement with PINA Conference in Solomon Islands irks mainland China

By Harlyne Joku

China has strongly protested Taiwanese involvement in Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) conference to be held in Solomon Islands in May.

A spokesman from the Chinese embassy in Port Moresby, who wished to remain unanimous, said yesterday that PINA, representing credible journalists in Pacific Island States, must not be politicised and influenced by Taiwan.

He said the Chinese government acknowledged Taiwan as an integral part of China.
“Our population of 1.3 billion people also includes the people of Taiwan. Taiwan is an integral part of China,” he said.

The spokesman said the Chinese government opposed any attempts by Taiwan to influence the Pacific media. He said the Chinese government was not happy with the arrangement that MASI – the Media Association of Solomon Islands – accepted a donation of US$65,000 from Taiwan and allowing a high-powered Taiwanese delegation to attend the conference.

He said most of the Pacific Islands states had diplomatic ties with China and supported the ‘One China’ policy, therefore their media organisations should do the same.

“We must all uphold justice and protect the sovereignty of each country,” he added.

It is understood PNG is the largest subscriber member of PINA and the PNG Media Council is concerned about Taiwanese involvement in the conference. The council has asked each member of PINA to contribute their organisation’s view and stand on the issue so they can be able to put out their stand in a press statement to the public, PINA and MASI.

Source: PNG National

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