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Greater assurance needed for Taiwanese in turmoil abroad

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?

1 Comment
May 26, 2014    lightcrusaderjr@
People these days tend not to appreciate whatever their government is doing for them. They always see the limitations and tend to heavily criticize. Now Taiwan's adequacy of response is even being compared with that of China. The opinion appears to portray that China has even done better. Yet the editorial seems to forget that it is precisely China's doing of bringing an oil rig in the contested water that is precisely the root cause of the violence that befell the Chinese and those thought to be associated with it. I hope the Media will find more balance in its reporting and see what is realistic under the circumstances. Media should also resist the urge to criticize for the sake of criticizing.
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