Back to list

President Ma asks for investigation of flag incident in London

2012/07/27 22:00:57

Taipei, July 27 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou has given the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) a directive to find out why Taiwan's national flag was removed from a street display in London ahead of the Summer Olympics there, Presidential Office spokesman Fan Chiang Tai-chi said Friday.

If the flag was taken down because of pressure from China, Taiwan will raise the issue with China since such actions are not conducive to the normal development of ties across the Taiwan Strait, Fan Chiang said.

Taiwan's national flag was among those from more than 200 countries that have been flying on Regent Street, a London shopping district, since July 20 to symbolize the nations participating in this year's Summer Olympics.

However, the Taiwan flag was removed July 24 because of the involvement of the British Foreign Ministry and organizers of the Summer Games, said Annie Walker, head of the Regent Street Association that organized the flag display.

The Games organizers denied involvement in the decision, saying that the objection against the display of Taiwan's national flag was made to the British Foreign Ministry.

The Chinese embassy in the United Kingdom declined to comment on the matter.

The Taiwan flag was replaced Thursday by the flag of the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee after Taiwan's representative office in the U.K lodged a protest with the Regent Street Association.

Fan Chiang said despite the warmer ties across the Taiwan Strait, there are still some decades-old issues between the two sides that cannot be resolved overnight.

MOFA spokesman Steve Hsia said during an interview on Friday that the ministry is making arrangement so Taiwan's national flags will be seen flying in London.

Meanwhile, former opposition Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen said on her Facebook page that she hopes the Taiwan government would be more proactive in its handling of the matter so China would learn the importance of mutual respect.

If China continues to alienate and humiliate the Taiwanese people, no one will benefit from a buildup of negative emotions, she said.

(By Kelven Huang, Justin Su, Jennifer Huang, and Kay Liu)
enditem /pc