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Taiwan protests MWC's labeling of Taiwan as part of China

2019/02/23 22:39:44

Image taken from MWC's website at:

Taipei, Feb. 23 (CNA) Taiwan on Saturday lodged a protest against the organizers of the 2019 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, for referring to Taiwan as a "province of China" on its website.

The Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA), which organizes the congress, and Fira Barcelona Gran Via, the convention center where the event will be held from Feb. 25-28, have improperly referred to Taiwan as a "province of China" on the event's registration website, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said in a statement.

As a result, Taiwanese officials are unable to attend the congress, the MOFA said.

The MWC is one of the most important global events for the information and communication technology sector, and Taiwanese representatives have always been able to register and attend the event in the past under the name "Taiwan," the ministry said.

According to the ministry, MOFA officials asked the organizers to correct its improper designation of Taiwan, but they refused to do so.

The MOFA said it "strongly condemns" the organizers' behavior, arguing that it violates the nature of non-political organizations and seriously hurts exchanges between global ICT industries.

Chan Ting-i (詹婷怡), chairperson of Taiwan's National Communications Commission (NCC) who was originally scheduled to lead a delegation to the congress, has decided not to attend, the NCC said Saturday.

Mark Field, UK minister of state for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, said in July last year that the U.K. government's long-standing policy on Taiwan was to refer to Taiwan as simply "Taiwan," the NCC said, and called on the London-based GSMA to correct its designation of Taiwan.

According to information from the MWC website, Huawei Technologies is a major sponsor of the event and Huawei Rotating Chairman Guo Ping is one of the key speakers at the event this year.

(By Elaine Hou and Christie Chen)