The Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday denounced China’s Global Times for disseminating disinformation about Taiwan after the Chinese state-run newspaper claimed that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has been bribing Somaliland politicians.
Taiwan in August last year inaugurated the Taiwan Representative Office in the Republic of Somaliland, which is the nation’s only representative office whose title uses just the name “Taiwan.”
The East African country also established a representative office in Taipei, despite the absence of formal diplomatic relations.
The Chinese-language Global Times on Monday accused the DPP of offering Somaliland politicians and their families considerable bribes, citing anonymous sources.
The International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) is helping with Somaliland’s plans to digitize government services and establish an information and communications technology (ICT) center, but there have been some backroom transfers of benefits, the Global Times said.
The DPP has been promoting its Taiwanese independence campaign with dollar diplomacy, it said, citing another report by the American Prospect magazine in June last year that said the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office has been funding the US think tanks to advocate for more security and trade cooperation with Taiwan.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a news release on Monday condemned the Global Times for disseminating disinformation.
Commenting on the issue again, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) yesterday told a news briefing that the report is fabricated and aims to smear Taiwan, calling on people to spurn the paper.
Since Taiwan and Somaliland established representative offices in each other’s capitals last year, the two governments have launched cooperative projects in agriculture, ICT, education, and medicine to improve the lives of people in Somaliland, Ou said.
All the projects are open, transparent and legitimate, and lauded by Somaliland and the international community, she said.
The projects are listed on the Web site of the ministry-affiliated ICDF, showing an e-government project with Somaliland that started last year and runs through 2023, including plans to establish an ICT center and an inter-agency platform for data exchanges in the country.
Meanwhile, the government has been working with several US think tanks on research projects related to Taiwan-US relations and Taiwan’s international participation, Ou said.
The ministry’s funding is subject to the Legislative Yuan’s supervision and does not infringe on academic freedom, she added.
The research projects aim to promote discussions and understanding about Taiwan in US policy circles, which is a normal practice among democratic countries that an authoritarian regime might not be able to understand, Ou said.