MPs Explain Taiwan Trip with Bulgaria's Economic Interest

Diplomacy | January 23, 2014, Thursday // 12:35|  views

Rumen Yonchev, photo

All four Bulgarian lawmakers, accused of committing a diplomatic blunder that could cause serious problems with China over a trip to Taiwan, say they did it for the economic interest of the homeland.

Rumen Yonchev, from the ruling Coalition for Bulgaria, which is led by the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), stated before media that the visit had been within the frame of normal international relations and was aligned with the trade and economic interests of Bulgaria despite the lack of official diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

Yonchev added the invitation had been extended to him and he selected the other three Members of the Parliament who traveled with him.

"Such visits are always done at the expense of the welcoming country. Taiwan does not have a visa regime with Bulgaria, the US, and most of the EU Member States because no one emigrates from there. Nearly all European countries have representations in Taipei. Nearly 30 000 Chinese students are enrolled in Taiwanese colleges; there is a large number of Taiwanese companies in China, employing millions of Chinese workers. The world is changing; processes in this part of the world develop very fast and we are lagging behind. Out visit was a step in the right direction that could finally open some doors to Bulgarian business," the MP stressed.

Regarding the explicit prohibition of Parliament Speaker Mihail Mikov to organize such trip, Yonchev stated that Mikov was "not a middle school principal" to have a say in personal and unofficial contacts of Bulgarian lawmakers.

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Tags: EU, US, GERB, BSP, Coalition for Bulgaria, DPS, Ataka, Taiwan, Taipei, China, MPs, parliament, lawmakers, Rumen Yonchev, Mihail Mikov


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