|April 4, 2013|
|By Loa Lok-sin / staff reporter|
BRAVE FACE: The Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission minister remained upbeat despite saying the merger of her agency with the Mainland Affairs Council was not ideal
|Official website of the Mongolian & Tibetan Affairs Commission of Taiwan: http://www.mtac.gov.tw/main.php|
Lawmakers across party lines yesterday voiced concerns over Taiwan’s future exchanges with Mongolia once the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission is merged into the Mainland Affairs Council, fearing that the Mongolian government may suspect that Taiwan considers Mongolia to be part of China.
Responding to the lawmakers comments, Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission Minister Lo Ying-shay (羅瑩雪) said she agreed that the situation was not ideal, however, the commission is making arrangements to ensure that things run smoothly following the merger.
"The function of the commission is complicated. We deal with diplomatic, cross-strait and domestic issues," Lo said.
"Dealing with Mongolia or Mongolian republics within the Russian Federation is a diplomatic issue, exchanges with Mongolian and Tibetan regions in China are cross-strait issues, but serving Mongolian and Tibetan populations in this country is a domestic issue," she said.
The commission is working with the relevant agencies when handling different issues, Lo said.
For instance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is talking with Mongolia about a visa-waiver program, the Ministry of Economic Affairs is dealing with economic exchanges with Mongolia, while the Ministry of Education may handle student exchange programs, Lo said.
"We have better connections with Mongolian and Tibetan regions, thus we’re serving as a platform to assist different government agencies when dealing with different issues concerning Mongolians and Tibetans," Lo said.