This post is about the misuse of social media when you are a Romanian Member of the Parliament in office and in a country your own country has not recognized. Bluntly, beware of those dreaded bilateral agreements. If you have no idea what those are, be sure your advisor knows it before setting foot in an unknown airport.
It’s August and honestly nothing ever happens in August except for the scorching days that keep on coming. However, something did happen and it all started on Facebook. Some guy posts a set of photos with him and his buddies in Taiwan: they are dressed in the local attire having fun with the locals; it all feels like a backpacker trip. Quite innocent, yet obscure, nobody knows who they are dressed in Taiwanese.
Only that they are far from being obscure backpackers. The guy and his buddies are MPs, Romanian Members of the Parliament on a visit in Taiwan. The four of them come from different parties so the thing is not political, but hey now that you think about it… it’s still political because they are in office at the moment representing Romania and even if they are enjoying the parliamentary summer holiday… they are in Taiwan dressed as Taiwanese.
And we get to see those photos and nothing clicks in except for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which, completely out of the blue, issues a press release in which it reminds that Romania’s diplomatic ties with China must not be affected by the Taiwanese stunt of the four backpackers. Next thing you know, the Romanian Senate and the Chamber of Deputies issue each a press release (I had no idea they were working in August!) in which they disowned any formal connection to the Taiwanese “mission”.
Romania has not recognized Taiwan as a country and it abides by the One China Policy bilateral agreements: this is the small detail that the four backpackers missed when they headed to Taiwan on a so-called private visit. So the three or four press releases were about Romania disowning any connection with Taiwan and reaffirming its “good diplomatic relations” with China. Today, China itself bothered to issue a statement about the “private” Romanian-Taiwanese visit in which it bluntly opposes any connections between Romanian officials and Taiwan.
The four buddies insisted they were on a private unofficial visit, well now it’s quite official thanks to Facebook. Much ado about nothing yet quite stormy.