Netizens call for Dutch products boycott, halt to medical exports over Taiwan

By GT staff reporters Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/28 14:38:40

Photo taken on March 7, 2020 shows the view of Giethoorn in Overijssel, the Netherlands. (Xinhua/Zhang Cheng)

The Netherlands' provocative move in changing its trade and investment office in Taiwan island to Netherlands Office Taipei, aimed at lifting its political relations with the island, is destructive to the regional stability and likely to face backlash, analysts said.

The Chinese Embassy in the Netherlands has contacted the Dutch Foreign Ministry to lodge solemn representations after Guy Wittich, Representative of the Netherlands Trade and Investment Office in Taiwan, announced the simplification of the office's name to the Netherlands Office Taipei. The Chinese embassy has made a request for clarification of the matter.

The embassy stressed that the Taiwan question concerns China's core interests and adhering to the one China principle is the political foundation for developing China-Netherlands relations. China urges the Netherlands to honor its commitment to the principle, properly handle Taiwan-related issues and take concrete actions to maintain the healthy and stable development of bilateral relations.

Chinese netizens irritated by the Netherlands' move called on the Chinese companies to immediately stop exporting medical supplies to the country, and appealed to others to boycott all Dutch products and cancel their travel plans to the country. 

Some netizens posted photos of Zheng Chenggong, a military leader in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) who expelled the Dutch invaders and colonialists from Taiwan in 1662, and commented that "although he was from the Ming dynasty, many of his descendants are still here, just across the Taiwan Straits."  

The Netherlands aims to lift its political relations with Taiwan island and strengthen its interference in China's internal affairs, which is extremely destructive to regional stability and has seriously disturbed international efforts to combat COVID-19, Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Analysts pointed out that the announcement, which comes on the Netherlands' national day, known as King's Day, could remind many Taiwan compatriots of the history of Dutch colonial rule over Taiwan island in the 17th century. Dutch officials did not seem to be aware that the move boasts its former glory and could insult the island.

Taiwan's "Foreign Minister" Joseph Wu said they welcomed Netherlands' decision and the move represented a positive step in relations between Taiwan and the Netherlands. 

"It's ridiculous that the Taiwan Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which has attempted to bow to foreign countries to achieve its goal of 'Taiwan independence,' has kidnapped the island and its people politically," Li said. 

Such a move will further tear apart Taiwan society and politics and result in long-term trauma to the island, Li said. 

Li also warned that the Netherlands' decision to change the name of its Taiwan office may trigger similar dangerous moves from other European countries. But no matter how the office conducts its activities on Taiwan island, it will not change the fact that Taiwan is a part of China, Li said.

Li said China may consider suspending medical supplies to the Netherlands amid the coronavirus pandemic, and calling off some trade projects and people-to-people exchanges with the Netherlands to warn the country.  
Newspaper headline: Netherlands to face boycott over Taiwan

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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