Taipei, Jan. 17 (CNA) Taiwan on Thursday condemned a proposal by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) that 66 foreign companies who have failed to label Taiwan as part of China's territory on their websites should be punished, saying the move demonstrates Beijing's "evil intent" to downgrade the nation's sovereignty.
In its 2018 annul report on cyber rule of law in China issued on Jan. 7, the top research institute in China noted that 66 of the world's top 500 companies in 2017 list Taiwan as "Taiwan" instead of "Taiwan, China."
The report suggested that Beijing should punish the companies, which include Apple, Nike and Amazon, if they fail to change their designation on Taiwan.
In response, Taiwan's foreign ministry on Thursday condemned the threat and its effort to "blatantly interfere with private-sector commercial activities and international business operations with political means" to suppress Taiwan's status in the world community.
MOFA's statement called on the international community to join Taipei in opposing Chinese bullying.
It reiterated that the Republic of China (Taiwan) is an independent, sovereign nation, a fact that will not be changed by China's actions, adding that these acts of bullying will only further "widen the rift between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait."
The latest proposal on foreign companies comes after a similar threat was made by Beijing in April 2018.
At that time, China's Civil Aviation Administration 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. Bowing to Chinese pressure, most of the companies have since done as instructed.