South Korea Cancels Audrey Tang Speech 韓突取消唐鳳線上演講 稱考量兩岸關係

Minister without Portfolio Audrey Tang's online speech at Korea's  Global Policy Conference was canceled at the last minute on the 16th, and the reason given was "cross-strait considerations." The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has lodged a protest with the Korean government.

Minister without Portfolio Audrey Tang was scheduled to speak virtually on social transformation at South Korea's 4th Global Policy Conference on the 4th Industrial Revolution on Dec. 16. On that morning, South Korea canceled her speech without warning, citing "cross-strait considerations." Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is criticizing South Korea for its "rudeness."

Joanne Ou, Spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “With regards to Korea's rude behavior, we at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have already summoned Korea's acting representative in Taipei, Mr. Hong Soon-chang, to tell him about our country's strong displeasure.”

On the 20th, MOFA summoned South Korea's rep in Taipei, Hong Soon-chang, to express its displeasure. It also asked its rep in Seoul, Tang Diann-wen, to lodge a protest with the South Korean government. MOFA says the act of summoning a rep is a "severe diplomatic expression" that in the past has been used to sever diplomatic relations or as a response to a major event.

Joanne Ou, Spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “We at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs thank Minister without Portfolio Audrey Tang for all she has done to expand our international exchanges. We also reaffirm that the Republic of China (Taiwan) -- that we are a sovereign, independent country. Our country has the right to hold exchanges with every country in the world and deepen friendly interaction with them.”

According to reports, Hong told MOFA that Audrey Tang's appearance was canceled due to "comprehensive considerations" but bilateral relations between South Korea and Taiwan have not changed. He also said he would pass MOFA's message of displeasure along.