Taiwan protests global group's designation of its cities (update)

09/27/2020 09:13 PM
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Photo from globalcovenantofmayors.org
Photo from globalcovenantofmayors.org

Update: Taiwanese cities' 'wrongful designation' by global group corrected: FM

Taipei, Sept. 27 (CNA) Taiwan has lodged a protest with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM) over its listing of the six cities in Taiwan that are members of the group as being part of China.

The six cities in Taiwan that have joined the GCoM -- Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung -- are listed under the country classification of "China" on the GCoM's website, even though Taiwan is not part of the People's Republic of China.

On Sunday, the six cities issued a joint letter to the GCoM, requesting that it "immediately fix the website and change the registered names of our cities back to the original registered nationality."

It said that if the alliance does not respond positively, the six cities will withdraw from the group to "defend our rights and interests."

The six cities said Taiwan is not part of China and objected to what they called "dwarfing behavior" and their inclusion as a "City of China."

A day earlier, the Kaohsiung City government said in a statement that it contacted the Brussels-based secretariat of the ICLEI -- Local Governments for Sustainability -- a founding partner of GCoM to express its dismay.

In a message for ICLEI Secretary-General Gino Van Begin, delivered through the ICLEI Kaohsiung Capacity Center, the city said Taiwan is not part of China and demanded that the designation be rectified.

"We will not accept any belittling of Taiwan by the international community or international organizations," the city government said.

Kaohsiung became Taiwan's first ICLEI member city in 2006, and it did not register its name under the name of "China" when it joined the ICLEI or took part in any projects or competitions by international organizations, the city said in the statement.

Taoyuan said in a statement Sunday that it has also expressed its opposition to this treatment of Taiwan in a message sent to the ICLEI.

Similarly, the Taipei and Taichung city governments on Sunday protested as being listed as part of China, and threatened to withdraw from the GCoM and its related meetings and organizations if their cities were not classified correctly.

Taipei and Taichung asked the GCoM to change the country designation to Chinese Taipei, the same designation the ICLEI uses for them and all other local Taiwan governments that are members of that organization.

Earlier Sunday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said it has asked its representative office in Brussels, where the GCoM's global secretariat is headquartered, to correct the country classification of the six Taiwanese cities based on the membership application forms they filed.

MOFA will also direct the office to contact the ICLEI to insist that related organizations not belittle Taiwan's local governments by classifying them under the wrong country name, it said in a statement.

(By Matt Yu, Wu Jui-chi, Lee Wan-yu and Evelyn Kao)

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