Taipei--The Republic of China (Taiwan) and Panama have not discussed establishing official representative offices since the severing of diplomatic relations in June, a Taiwan official said Thursday.
Following the closure of the two country's respective embassies in Taipei and Panama City on July 12, no official channels of communication have been maintained, according to Diego Chou (??), head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Department of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs.
He said that although Panama has expressed an interest in maintaining substantial ties and exchanging business offices with Taiwan, it remains to be seen if Beijing will pressures Panama to change its mind.
"We don't think now is an appropriate time to discuss this matter," he said at a regular news briefing, adding that the government will see how things develop before deciding whether to discuss such issues with Panama in the future.
Asked if the Taiwan-Panama free trade agreement is still valid after the ending of official ties, Chou said the government believes it remains valid as Panama has not formally notified Taiwan it wants to terminate the pact.
Under the terms of the agreement, if either party to the agreement decides to end the pact, the other party must be notified in writing 180 days in advance, he pointed out.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel