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Alliances 'unaffected' by China visits

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The foreign minister said yesterday that the nation's ties with its diplomatic allies in Central American and African regions remain solid despite the recent frequent visits made by Chinese leaders to the areas.

Speaking during a legislative committee meeting yesterday, Foreign Minister David Lin (林永樂) said Chinese leaders have left their footprints in dozens of countries throughout Africa, Europe and Latin America since early this year.

The Chinese government has also been beefing up its efforts to enhance its presence and economic relations with Taiwan's allies in Central American and Africa regions, Lin noted.

However, the minister stressed that Taipei has maintained close ties and robust relations with its diplomatic allies in the regions despite Beijing's relentless efforts in luring the countries.

During yesterday's meeting, opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) warned Lin about a trade mission office China opened at Sao Tome and Principe in November 2013.

He warned that the office could mean a step closer for the African ally to severing ties with Taipei in favor of Beijing.

In response, Lin said the office only means that the ally wants to have closer business ties with Beijing but it does not mean it would formally recognized the People's Republic of China.

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