Greater assurance needed for Taiwanese in turmoil abroad
The China Post news staff
May 23, 2014, 12:05 am TWN
Over the past two weeks, the Taiwan government, especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), has been under heavy fire for its somewhat slow responses in the wake of the violent demonstrations in Vietnam that have affected factories and facilities owned by Taiwanese businesses.
Many Taiwanese nationals whose properties were damaged during the latest round of anti-China riots have accused the ministry of doing little to help them leave the country in their time of need.
The Taiwanese nationals said MOFA has been slow in offering help to more than 40,000 Taiwanese in Vietnam. And when the ministry did decide to help them, it did so with some strange methods that almost turned the ministry into a laughing stock.
One of measures these people are referring to is the MOFA-prepared stickers with the slogan “I am Taiwanese,” which they gave to Taiwanese businesses in Vietnam to help them differentiate themselves from Chinese nationals.
Taiwanese in Vietnam became even angrier when they learned that Taiwan's top envoy to Vietnam, Huang Chih-peng (黃志鵬), was not in the country days before the riots began. He went home to Taiwan and did not return until May 13, when the protests had turned into violent riots.
Amid criticisms, MOFA insisted that it has done a lot to help R.O.C. citizens in the Southeast Asian country.
To be perfectly fair, MOFA has indeed done quite a few things.
For instance, Taiwan's representative office in Vietnam has established a dozen temporary shelters for its nationals, set up emergency hotlines and provided shuttle bus services that can carry Taiwanese nationals directly to the airport in Ho Chi Minh City if necessary.
So why aren't these efforts appreciated by Taiwanese people in Vietnam?