|Taipei, Oct 18 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Monday that Taiwan-Dominican Republic relations remain firm despite growing financial ties between Taiwan's Caribbean ally and China and hints of a possible interest in changing allegiance.|
Bank of China and China's Foreign Trade Bank were reported on Oct. 15 to have agreed to extend US$462 million in financing for an exclusive tourism complex in Punta Perla in the eastern part of that country being developed by Spanish investors.
Dominican Republic Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Garcia was quoted as saying that the deal created a precedent that will open the doors for Chinese financing of Dominican Republic development projects, but Taiwan appeared to take the news in stride.
"There are many foreign investments in the Dominican Republic. Our embassy will closely monitor the situation. However, the Republic of China does not oppose trade relations between the private sectors of our allies and those in China," said MOFA spokesman James Chang.
Taiwan had already received a jolt earlier this month when Garcia intimated during a visit to Shanghai that his country was hoping for full relations with China "sooner than later."
"We aspire sooner than later, our relations with the People's Republic of China are complete relations and absolutas, " he was quoted as saying by online news service Dominican Today on Oct. 5.
Chang said the Taiwanese embassy in Santo Domingo immediately raised concerns with the Dominican Republic government regarding Garcia's comments, but stressed that Taiwan's longstanding friendship with the Dominican Republic remains unshaken.
"The Dominican Republic's foreign policies are directed by its president," Chang added.
In July, President Ma Ying-jeou received an official delegation led by Dominican Secretary of Defense Pedro Rafael Pena Antonio and expressed hope for further bilateral agricultural, educational, security and economic cooperation in the future.
Ma also commended the Caribbean ally for playing a vital role in assisting Haiti, another one of Taiwan's allies, in the post-quake efforts.
On Oct. 11, the MOFA thanked the Dominican Republic as one of 17 allied countries that backed Taiwan's bid to join the International Civil Aviation Organization as an observer.
Dominican Watchdog comment.
The money is a political gesture and part of China's plan to grow their activities and long term influence in weak countries around the world. The money is not enough to change the history and current difficult market situation for real estate in the DR.
Even with a large scale investor from China there is no guarantee that Punta Perla will ever be a commercial success for the small investors due to the following facts: Not a single property has been sold to any rich and important local family in the Dominican Republic, despite these families have invested heavily into famous resort developments nearby which are now in serious trouble. Investors in Cap Cana are not able to resell their units and the project is a ghost town today even Billions of dollars has been invested using the name of Donald Trump. Roco Ki (partly backed by one of richest and most powerful Dominican families(click on Vicini Group -The Price of Sugar, to see where the money came from) has fired most employees and closed sales operations. Both Cap Cana and Roco Ki are located only a few miles from Punta Perla!
It's not enough to build the project, it also has to be sold and investors have to be able to resell their units. Finally somebody has to live there and that has not happened with any of the above luxury developments. That's why this idea is dead in todays market.