Taiwan respects outcome of Scotland poll: officials

Taiwan respects outcome of Scotland poll: officials

TAIPEI, Taiwan - The Republic of China's government respects the decision made by the Scottish people in Scotland's just concluded independence referendum, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday.

Asked to comment on the outcome of the Scottish independence referendum in which voters chose not to split from the United Kingdom, Foreign Minister David Lin said Taiwan fully respects the decision.

"As a democratic country, the R.O.C. has full respect for the outcome," Lin told reporters in the Legislative Yuan.

MOFA spokeswoman Anna Kao later added that as a democratic and peace-loving sovereign state, the R.O.C. has expressed its respect for the Scottish people's decision in the referendum.

The decision was made in accordance with democratic procedures and done peacefully, she added.

The spokeswoman added that Taiwan has had close, robust relations with the UK and Scotland in terms of trade, culture, tourism and education, for years.

The nation has its main UK representative office in London and another branch office in Edinburgh, the spokeswoman said.

The R.O.C. government will continue to work on enhancing even closer ties with the UK and Scotland, she added.

Scottish Referendum Differs from Local Proposals

Meanwhile, asked by lawmakers to comment on the issue and its possible impact to Taiwan, Premier Jiang Yi-huah, who fielded questions in the legislative hearing, said in a democratic country people have the right to decide their fate.

The vote was held to decide whether Scotland, which is part of the UK, should become an independent country, said Jiang.

However, he noted that the Scottish independence referendum is totally different from the Taiwan "independence" referendum proposed by some local activists.

The R.O.C. is already a sovereign state, Jiang said, suggesting that there is no need to hold a similar referendum in Taiwan over the nation's independence.

The premier also noted that the fate of the R.O.C. can only be decided by its 23 million people rather than by Chinese who live on the other side of the Taiwan Strait, Jiang said.

Scotland has voted to stay in the United Kingdom after voters decisively rejected independence.

With the results in from all 32 council areas, the "No" side won with 2,001,926 votes or 55 per cent, over 1,617,989 for "Yes" or 45 per cent.

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