Taiwan urges Panama to abide by rules of existing treaties

Taiwan's foreign ministry is demanding that Panama abide by the rules of treaties that the two countries have signed. The call on Monday is in response to an announcement by Panama that all bilateral treaties are no longer effective following a break in diplomatic relations.

Panama announced on June 13 that it was establishing ties with China. But China sees Taiwan as part of its territory and forbids its allies from holding official ties with Taiwan. Panama later gave Taiwan's foreign diplomats one month to leave the country.

A source with Taiwan's foreign ministry said Monday that it was important for Taiwan to respond to the announcement from Panama in order to protect the interests of Taiwan's citizens.

Taiwan's foreign ministry says that in keeping with the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, the breaking of diplomatic relations between two countries should have no impact on the validity of a bilateral treaty unless diplomatic ties is a prerequisite for that treaty's existence.

The foreign ministry source gave the example of a Free Trade Agreement between the two sides, saying that neither side could unilaterally terminate it. The source said that the two sides must follow the rules of the treaty if they want to terminate the agreement.

However, other agreements were forged on the basis of an official diplomatic relationship between the two countries. One such agreement paved the way for Taiwan's International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) to send volunteers to Panama. That agreement is no longer in effect following the break in ties.

Source: Radio Taiwan International