MOFA denies money diplomacy in Haiti
CNATAIPEI -- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday rejected a report that painted a US$15.8 million donation by Taiwan to help with reconstruction in earthquake-devastated Haiti as unnecessary spending and a simple case of money diplomacy.
August 13, 2013, 12:05 am TWN
The ministry said in a statement that since his inauguration in 2008, President Ma Ying-jeou has promoted a flexible approach to diplomacy, under which aid is provided to foreign countries based on justifiable purposes, legal procedures and effective implementation.
The donation to Haiti is part of normal bilateral cooperation between Taiwan and the Caribbean ally and has nothing to do with Ma's planned visit to the country, the ministry said.
According to the Liberty Times, Taiwan signed a memorandum of understanding with Haiti in July to donate US$15.8 million to help the Caribbean ally rebuild its Supreme Court building, which partially collapsed as a result of a powerful earthquake that struck the country in 2010.
The paper questioned the need for the donation, saying that the building's reconstruction was already covered by a US$260 million post-earthquake reconstruction plan proposed in 2011 by the Haitian government.
The funds were already raised, the paper contended, citing an article in the People's Daily on July 19, 2011.
It suggested that the US$15.8 million donation was intended as a gift ahead of Ma's planned visit to the Caribbean nation this week, during which he will attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the Supreme Court building reconstruction project.
MOFA said, however, that the report was factually incorrect.
Although many countries promised to contribute to Haiti's reconstruction efforts, most of them did not fulfill their pledges, according to the ministry.
The Supreme Court building project is expected to be completed in 2015, it said.