Macao's decision to suspend office in Taipei following HK shows resolution to safeguard national solidarity with legal weapons: experts
Published: Jun 16, 2021 08:57 PM
The Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei,the island of Taiwan File Photo:Xinhua

The Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei,the island of Taiwan File Photo:Xinhua

The Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) announced on Wednesday that it will suspend the operations of the Macao Economic and Cultural Office in Taiwan, following the ceasing of operations of a similar Hong Kong SAR office in the island in May. 

The move shows Macao's resolution to safeguard national solidarity using legal weapons, and is a warning to Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authority, experts say. 

The Macao government said it will suspend the MECO's operations from June 19. During the period of suspension, a 24-hour telephone hotline will be set up to provide services and assistance requested by Macao residents in Taiwan. 

The specific reasons for the suspension of operations were not announced.

Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council said on Wednesday that Taiwan is "very sorry for the unilateral decision of the Macao government," adding that its corresponding office in Macao will continue operating. 

This decision of the Macau government, like the previous one of the Hong Kong government, has a solid legal basis, Fan Peng, a research fellow from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of Political Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

"It is a manifestation of the two SAR governments' determination to use the weapon of legislation to resolutely defend unification and to show their determination to the Taiwan authorities," Fan said. 

This step further reflects the determination of the two SAR governments to downgrade their relations with the Taiwan authorities, which is in fact a correction of the previous situation, Fan noted.

In May, the Hong Kong  suspended its economic and cultural office in Taiwan. In a statement released by the HKSAR government, it slammed Taiwan's regional authority for grossly interfering in Hong Kong affairs on repeated occasions. 

"Taiwan has launched the so-called Hong Kong Aid Project and unilaterally established the so-called Taiwan-Hong Kong Office for Exchanges and Services under the Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Co-operation Council (THEC), offering assistance to violent protesters and people who tried to shatter Hong Kong's prosperity and stability. The provocative acts of Taiwan are inconsistent with the goal of THEC, which is to promote exchanges and co-operation between Hong Kong and Taiwan," reads the statement.

The Hong Kong economic and cultural office commenced operations in Taipei in December 2011 to promote economic, trade and cultural exchanges between Hong Kong and Taiwan, in accordance with the 1992 Consensus, reads the statement.

Analysts viewed the two SARs' move as Hong Kong's becoming more mature under the framework of the "one country, two systems" principle in pushing national reunification.

DPP policy makers have continued to show disrespect for the 1992 Consensus, while the Chinese mainland has been relatively restrained and tolerant, Fan said. 

"Now, the response from Hong Kong and Macau is tantamount to giving Taiwan a warning that reunification is unstoppable," Fan said.

Global Times