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Taiwan seeks correction of its designation on Canadian bank's site

2018/05/27 20:47:26

Image taken from Royal Bank of Canada website

Taipei, May 27 (CNA) Taiwan's foreign ministry said Sunday that it has asked the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) to correct Taiwan's designation on its website, which was recently listed as a "province of China."

According to the The Star Vancouver report on Saturday, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) customers who wish to wire payments to Taiwan will now find it listed as a "province of China" on its website.

Before, its website used to list Taiwan as "Taiwan" in its "country" category. But recently the designation has been changed into Taiwan (Province of China).

The newspaper said RBC did not answer questions about when the designation began, whether the Chinese government was involved, nor why Taiwan is listed as a province of China.

But RBC said it "has been leveraging the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for country descriptions. As part of our commitment to responding to the needs of our clients we will be making updates to our system to change how Taiwan is listed," according to the The Star Vancouver report.

Asked to comment, MOFA spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) told CNA Sunday that the ministry was aware of the issue and has already asked its representative office in Canada to express its serious concern over the matter to the Canadian government and to the bank, calling for the inappropriate designation to be changed as soon as possible.

The government also made clear its stance on the matter, asking the bank not to belittle Taiwan or damage its sovereignty and dignity by bowing to pressure from China, he added.

The bank's belittling designation of Taiwan came only several weeks after a similar move made by Air Canada to change the name of Taiwanese cities as part of China on its website.

The change was made after China's Civil Aviation Administration in late April sent letters to pressure 36 American and international airlines to remove references to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as countries on their websites and marketing materials.

The Air Canada's decision caused an uproar of protests and backlash within the Taiwanese-Canadian community in Canada, leading to an online social media campaign.

A Taiwanese-Canadian identified as Pang. C (周邦諺) promptly initiated a petition at to urge the airliner to change back Taiwan's designation.

Titled "The Air Canada Kowtow: Get Air Canada to stop referencing Taiwan as belonging to China," the online petition has so far garnered 12,000-plus signatures at the social change platform.

In a latest post made on Saturday, Pang. C thanks those who support his petition. He also called on people to continue to support Taiwan as the country has recently been besieged by China on all fronts in the international arena.

(By Joseph Yeh and Hu Yu-li)