January 22, 2022

Taiwan summons Korean envoy to protest minister’s speech cancellation

Taiwan summons Korean envoy to protest minister’s speech cancellation

Taiwan summons Korean envoy to protest minister’s speech cancellation

By Joseph Yeh
December 20, 2021

Taipei, Dec. 20 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) summoned a senior South Korean diplomat in Taipei on Monday to protest the South Korean government’s last-minute cancellation of a scheduled virtual speech to be made by Taiwan’s Digital Minister Andrey Tang (唐鳳) at a conference held in Seoul last week.

Chang Chun-yu (張均宇), deputy head of the ministry’s Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, summoned Hong Soon-chang, deputy representative and acting chief of the Korean Mission in Taipei, on Monday to lodge an official protest over the matter on behalf of Taiwan’s government, said MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安).

The mission represents South Korean interests in Taiwan in the absence of official diplomatic ties.

According to Ou, Tang was originally invited in September to speak virtually, with the title of Taiwan’s Digital Minister, at the 4th Global Policy Conference on the 4th Industrial Revolution held in Seoul on Dec. 16.

Tang was one of four speakers scheduled to speak at the “Social Innovation session” in the afternoon during the one-day event that was held both physically and offline.

Tang was set to make an address titled “Taiwan’s Digital Social Innovation,” during the session focusing on how technology can be used to deal with the climate crisis and infectious diseases, Ou said.

However, just a few hours before the Dec. 16 event, the event organizers informed the Taiwan side that Tang’s scheduled address had been canceled, Ou said.

Citing an email sent to Tang’s office, Ou said the conference organizers said the decision was made after taking into consideration “various aspects of cross-Strait issues,” possibly referring to pressure from Beijing over the invitation of Tang.

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