Taiwan endangers birds at home and abroad

The Chinese-language China Times is reporting that Birdlife International is asking Taiwan not to fund a highway in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines that threatens the habitat of the endangered St. Vincent Amazon parrot . According to the article, a spokesman from Taiwan's Foreign Ministry said that Taiwan was committed to the development of its diplomatic allies and funds projects based on the recommendations of the government of the diplomatic ally. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is one of Taiwan's few diplomatic allies.

Birdlife International also criticized the Taiwanese government for building the Hushan Reservoir in Taiwan's central Yunlin County. The project is said to negatively affect the habitat of the endangered fairy pitta.

Taiwan, which has just 27 diplomatic allies due to its international isolation, has traditionally doled out generous sums of foreign aid to the few countries that recognize it internationally. Domestic critics in Taiwan are increasingly questioning whether Taiwan's foreign aid ever really reaches the people it is intended to help, and when it does, if the projects it funds are really worthwhile.

In recent years, Taiwan has also reached out to international NGOs in an effort to break out of its international isolation. While NGOs are less susceptible to Chinese diplomatic pressure, they have also raised uncomfortable issues about Taiwan's traditional diplomacy and Taiwan's blind committment to development at any costs.