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Taiwan protests forced name change of office in Papua New Guinea

2018/02/13 19:17:43

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章)

Taipei, Feb. 13 (CNA) Taiwan has lodged an official protest with the government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) over an instruction ordering Taiwan's representative office in the country to remove the wording "Republic of China" from its name under Chinese pressure, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Tuesday.

Taiwan's trade office in PNG is holding talks with the country's government in an effort to protect its rights and interests.

MOFA spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said China's ongoing effort to limit Taiwan's international space, particularly so close to the Hualien earthquake, will only hurt the feelings of the Taiwanese people.

Taiwan's representative office in Papua New Guinea was previously called the Trade Mission of the Republic of China(on Taiwan)in Papua New Guinea.

According to China's foreign ministry, the mission has removed "Republic of China" from its name while signs with the original name have been removed along with diplomatic license plates from diplomatic vehicles.

Taiwan's trade mission in PNG was established in 1990 in the country's capital of Port Moresby and has maintained close relations and cooperation in the fields of agricultural technology, medical treatment and personnel training over the years.

Starting last year, Taiwan's representative offices in Ecuador, Dubai, Bahrain and Nigeria have also been forced to change their official names. As these countries have no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, their original names containing "Republic of China" or "Taiwan" have been changed to "Taipei."

In January 2017, Nigeria's government ordered Taiwan to move its trade office from the capital of Abuja to the commercial city Lagos.

In response, MOFA has issued a formal request for Nigeria's representative office in Taiwan to move out of the capital city of Taipei.

Nigeria's representative office is currently searching for a new location and we hope they make the move as soon as possible, said Lee.

(By Elaine Hou and William Yen)