Five countries, regions urge Taiwan to change name of representative office

By Leng Shumei Source:Global Times Published: 2017/6/15 22:53:40

China said it appreciates countries which adhere to the one-China principle on Taiwan-related issues, after five countries and regions reportedly demanded that the island change the names of its representative offices in their countries.

"The one-China principle is widely accepted and acknowledged in the international community, and is the political basis for establishing diplomatic relations and friendly cooperation with China," Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said at a daily briefing on Thursday.

Lu made the remarks after Taiwan-based newspaper China Times reported Wednesday that Nigeria demanded the island to change the name of its representative office in the country from "Trade Mission of the Republic of China (Taiwan)" to "Taipei Trade Office."

Nigeria and four other countries and regions are seeking the change. The four others are Dubai, Jordan, Ecuador and Bahrain, the report said, citing Chen Chun-shen, an official of Taiwan's "foreign ministry."

"The demand is meant to standardize the office's name and define its function in economic exchanges," Zhu Songling, a professor at the Institute of Taiwan Studies of Beijing Union University, told the Global Times on Thursday.

"What those countries want is becoming consistent with international rules as well as their support for the one-China principle," Zhu said.

"Taiwan is losing international acceptance," Zhu said, adding that, by blaming the mainland, they are inciting populism and pro-independence thinking within the island.

During the term of former Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou, names of Taiwan representative offices in other countries were not a problem as both sides across the Straits recognized the 1992 Consensus that embodies the one-China principle, Zhu said.

"But since current Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen has yet to recognize the 1992 Consensus and continues to push cross-Straits ties in the wrong direction, more countries with diplomatic ties with the mainland are manifesting their adherence to the one-China principle," Zhu stressed.

Taiwan's "embassy" in Panama was closed on Thursday morning. The latter established diplomatic relations with the mainland and dropped Taiwan on Tuesday.

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