Countries voice support for Taiwan’s participation in ICAO

Several countries that have diplomatic ties with Taiwan voiced support for Taipei's participation in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) assembly on Tuesday.

On the sidelines of the 39th triennial ICAO assembly in Montreal, which began Tuesday, Marshall Islands Transportation and Communications Minister Michael J. Halferty said in a meeting with Taiwanese officials that it was unfortunate that Taiwan could not participate in the ICAO meeting.

"We hope that we can help Taiwan in certain areas be involved (in the assembly) this year," Halferty said. "In any way and any form we can, we will try to provide information to Taiwan to enhance civil aviation in Taiwan."

Taiwan was not invited to the event, most likely because of the objections of Beijing, which regularly suppresses Taiwan in the international community.

But Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) still sent a delegation to Montreal, the headquarters of ICAO, hoping to hold talks with Taiwan-friendly countries outside the venue.

Halferty said the Marshall Islands had a "sincere feeling" for Taiwan after its rejection from the ICAO assembly by China and hoped that Taipei and Beijing will resolve the differences between them.

The head of the Marshall Islands' Directorate of Civil Aviation, Stanley Myazoe, said the ICAO assembly is discussing how to cut carbon emissions in the global aviation industry, and Taiwan should have been allowed to participate in the discussion of such a critical issue.

Solomon Islands Communication and Aviation Minister Peter Shanel also supported Taiwan's presence in the ICAO assembly, saying he wrote to the ICAO asking it to invite Taiwan to the conference but did not receive a response.

Shanel said he firmly believed that Taiwan has made great contributions to the world's aviation industry in terms of safety and security and always followed ICAO rules, which is why the rejection of Taiwan's participation surprised him.

Taiwan needs to be treated fairly, and the ICAO should consider allowing Taiwan to participate in the next assembly, he said.

In addition to representatives of the Marshall Islands and Solomon Islands, Rene Roberto Lopex, head of El Salvador's Civil Aviation Authority, said his country also supported Taiwan's presence in the ICAO assembly.

In 2013, Taiwan was represented at the 38th ICAO assembly by Shen Chi (??), then-director-general of the CAA, who was invited as a special guest of then-ICAO Council President Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez.

That marked Taipei's first representation at the ICAO assembly since losing its seat in the United Nations to Beijing in 1971.

Cross-Taiwan Strait relations have cooled since President Tsai Ing-wen (???) of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party came to power on May 20, and opposition from Beijing is widely believed to be the main reason behind the ICAO's decision not to invite Taiwan this year.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel