Sunday May 26, 2024

Fresh guidelines issued to ministries, provinces on Taiwan

By Imdad Soomro
May 25, 2016

Foreign affairs ministry letter says Pakistan does not recognise
Taiwan as a state but an integral part of China

KARACHI: In what seems to ensure strict compliance of Taiwan-dealing policies, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued fresh ‘policy guidelines’ for all ministries, divisions and all the four provincial authorities.  In this regard, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent a letter to the chief secretaries of Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with clear instructions to follow the guidelines as far as the Taiwan issue is concerned.

“It has come to the notice that a number of ministries, divisions and provincial departments are not abiding by the policy guidelines on Taiwan, which were issued earlier.  It is hereby clarified that there is no change in Pakistan’s policy towards Taiwan. Pakistan does not recognize Taiwan as a state but as an integral part of the People’s Republic of China. 

In view of Chinese sensitivity towards issues relating to Taiwan, circumspect handling of such matters becomes necessary”, according to a letter available with The News. According to the guidelines, Pakistan does not recognize Taiwan as a separate entity but part of China.

Accordingly, Pakistan does not have any diplomatic and consular relations with Taiwan.  Similarly, no official contact, of any type, is maintained with Taiwan. Pakistan remains strongly opposed to any attempts by Taiwan to create two Chinas or One China, One Taiwan or Taiwan Independence.

This commitment is reflected Article II of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Good Neighborly Relations between Pakistan and China concluded in 2005.  The term Republic of China cannot be used in any form or communication which might imply recognition of Taiwan. If necessary, it instead can be referred to as Taiwan, China or Chinese Taipei. No official contacts are allowed with Taiwan.

Taiwanese authority owned vessels are not allowed to enter Pakistan. Non-governmental Taiwan ships, not flying the Taiwan flag, can touch our seaports. Vessels flying Taiwan flag cannot enter Pakistan’s seaports.

However correspondence further suggest that there are no restrictions on trade with Taiwan subject to the following conditions that include trade is conducted strictly on unofficial basis and through private sector only, no direct contacts to be made with Taiwan authority agencies, no Pakistani government functionary can visit Taiwan, no Taiwan authority functionary can visit Pakistan, government/official investment from Taiwan is not allowed into Pakistan, exchange of delegation(s) is not allowed, no publicity is given to Pakistan’s trade or commercial contacts with Taiwan while private businessmen can, technically, interact with Taiwan parties.

The various chambers of commerce may also be appropriately briefed regarding their dealing with Taiwan. The flag or emblem of Taiwan should not be on display, the sportsmen or team should not be referred to as representing Taiwan, Taiwan athletes during their stay in Pakistan should not be engaging in any activity aimed at splitting China.

Official correspondence concludes that business or transit visas can be issued to residents of Taiwan on a separate paper of affidavit but not on Taiwan travel documents.   The affidavits are advised by the Ministry of Interior, Pakistan and Mission in Hong Kong is authorized to issue visas on these affidavits, no visa application from holder of official or diplomatic Taiwan travel documents to be entertained. 

 It is cautioned that some residents of Taiwan may misuse the business or transit visa to get involved in anti-China activities. A thorough scrutiny of the visa application is necessary.

For notarization of Taiwan related documents, Pakistan nationals should have their documents notarized in advance in Taiwan and then the Chinese Embassy and Consulates in Pakistan shall issue separate notarization for them. As such consular attestation may not be necessary.