- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 19, 2001

Taiwan supports OAS

Taiwan yesterday showed its support for Latin American countries that recognize its sovereignty by writing a check for $150,000 to help settle a border dispute between Guatemala and Belize.

Chien-jen Chen, Taiwan's representative in Washington, presented the donation to Guatemalan Foreign Minister Gabriel Orellana and Belizean Vice Foreign Minister David Gibson at a ceremony at the Organization of American States (OAS).

The money will be deposited in OAS' Fund of Peace, which was established to promote settlements of territorial disputes among OAS member countries.

Taiwan is not a member of the OAS but maintains diplomatic relations with several of its members.

"It is highly significant that, on this occasion, [Taiwan] is assisting with the peacekeeping efforts of a regional international organization in response to a request from two allies, Guatemala and Belize," said Eric Chiang, a spokesman for the Taiwan Washington mission.

Another border dispute

The foreign ministers of Honduras and Nicaragua today will take steps toward reconciliation between the two Central American neighbors that nearly clashed over a maritime border dispute.

Roberto Flores Bermudez of Honduras and Francisco Aguirre Sacasa of Nicaragua are scheduled to sign agreements to promote cooperation and development at a ceremony at the Organization of American States.

Both men are former ambassadors to the United States.

OAS Secretary-General Cesar Gaviria and Assistant Secretary-General Luigi Einaudi will preside over the ceremony and present a report on compliance with earlier confidence-building measures limiting troops and police stationed on the border of each country.

The dispute erupted in 1999 when Honduras sided with Colombia, which claimed fishing rights in a part of the Caribbean claimed by Nicaragua.

Honduras increased troops along the border, after Nicaragua suspended economic ties with Honduras.

The OAS intervened and established a demilitarized zone.

Joining Stonebridge

Samuel R. Berger, national security adviser under President Clinton, has recruited some veteran diplomatic and political talent for his Stonebridge International consulting firm.

The firm has announced that Warren B. Rudman, a former Republican senator from New Hampshire, is a new member of the board of advisers.

Peter Tarnoff, former undersecretary of state for political affairs; Richard F. Celeste, a former ambassador to India; Richard Morningstar, a former ambassador to the European Union; and Kenneth Lieberthal, a former Asia specialist on the National Security Council, have joined as senior directors.

They all served in the Clinton administration.

Modified food for China

The United States and China are continuing talks over Chinese rules regulating the import of U.S. genetically modified foods, an American diplomat said yesterday.

Ambassador Allen F. Johnson told reporters in Beijing that he is optimistic that the new regulations will not harm U.S. exports to China.

"We're hopeful there won't be any problems," said Mr. Johnson, the chief negotiator on agriculture issues for the U.S. Trade Representative's Office.

China adopted new regulations on genetically modified food earlier this year but failed to issue details on the implementation of the rules.

Soybean imports suffered immediately, as dealers were left confused by the regulations.

The United States and China reached a temporary agreement in October to allow the resumption of the import of U.S. soybeans, most of which are genetically modified.

Mr. Johnson said he is optimistic that continued talks will lead to further agreement on other U.S. food exports.

"I think there are some positive signs in the way we've been able to deal with the interim solution as it relates to soybeans," Mr. Johnson said.

"We've shown in the U.S. that we have been able to implement technology in a way that's healthy and safe as well as reassuring to consumers, so we offered to assist [the Chinese] in developing these regulations."

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