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China Radio Silent on Presidential Assassination in Taiwan’s Ally Haiti

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The Chinese government has been conspicuously silent since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise of Haiti on Wednesday. Haiti is a notable diplomatic ally of Taiwan, which China has been working to isolate.

Moise’s assassination by a squad of mercenary gunmen went unmentioned at the lengthy press briefings held by the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday and Thursday.

The killing was met with expressions of shock and outrage from countries around the world, except for China. China’s state-run Xinhua and CGTN news networks actually produced roundups of reactions Wednesday, including brief excerpts from U.S. President Joe Biden’s statement, without noting that Beijing did not offer one.

Biden condemned Moise’s murder as a “heinous act” and said he was “shocked and saddened” to hear the news.

“The United States offers condolences to the people of Haiti, and we stand ready to assist as we continue to work for a safe and secure Haiti,” Biden said.

Pope Francis also called it a “heinous assassination,” condemned “all forms of violence as a means of resolving crises and conflicts,” and offered prayers for the “soul of the deceased.”

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the assassination was “abhorrent” and likewise pledged to “stand with the government and people of Haiti.”

The U.N. Security Council expressed “sadness” and “deep shock” at the killing, as well as concern for the slain president’s wounded widow, First Lady Martine Moise.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Moise’s murder was “appalling,” while French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian called it a “cowardly assassination.” 

Most European, Caribbean, and South American leaders quickly delivered similar condemnations, pronouncing the attack “vile,” “atrocious,” and “unacceptable,” while China remained silent.

On Tuesday, the day before Moise was killed, Haiti’s new ambassador Roudy Stanley Penn presented himself to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. Tsai and Penn celebrated 65 years of strong diplomatic ties and economic cooperation.

“Taiwan is a country well known in Haiti for its useful development support for several decades. My impression has always been positive, especially since in a comparative approach, Taiwan’s economic, social, and political progress can serve as an inspiration to Haitian elites who are aware of the development needs of Haiti,” Penn said in an interview with Taiwan News after meeting with Tsai.

Penn said China’s campaign to isolate Taiwan would not affect its relations with Haiti.

“Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, Haiti has always been an unwavering and committed ally of Taiwan. President Moise often emphasizes his interest in Taiwanese cooperation,” Penn said.

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