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

09/28/2020 01:48 PM
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Foreign Minister Joseph Wu. CNA photo Sept. 28, 2020
Foreign Minister Joseph Wu. CNA photo Sept. 28, 2020

Taipei, Sept. 28 (CNA) The wrongful classification of six Taiwanese cities on the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM) website as being in China has been corrected, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said Monday.

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

Following Taiwan's protest, the GCoM changed the cities' listing Sunday night to "Chinese Taipei," the name originally used when they joined the organization, Wu told reporters Monday.

The correction was made after the six cities issued a joint letter Sunday 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 did not respond positively, the six cities would withdraw from the group to "defend our rights and interests."

The 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 screenshot of the GCoM website (source: globalcovenantofmayors.org)
A screenshot of the GCoM website (source: globalcovenantofmayors.org)

According to a separate press release issued by the foreign ministry Monday, the ministry, together with the local governments, jointly protested the wrongful designation via different channels.

In response to the protest, the GCoM said the mislabeling was a simple "technical error" that has promptly been corrected, according to a foreign ministry press statement.

Wu said Monday he is happy to see the mayors of the six cities united over the matter across party lines and following the joint effort made by all parties involved, the issue has now been resolved.

Also Monday, mayors of the six Taiwanese cities all acknowledged the GCoM for making the timely correction of their designations and thanked the foreign ministry for pushing the organization to make the correction.

Meanwhile, commenting on the collision between a Taiwanese fishing boat and a Japanese government vessel on Sunday at the disputed Diaoyutai Islands in the East China Sea, Wu said at a legislative hearing that the Fisheries Agency and Coast Guard Administration (CGA) are currently probing the incident to determine which party was responsible for the incident.

Wu also voiced the grave concerns of Taiwan's government over the incident and called on the Japanese side to take no actions that undermine the interests of Taiwanese fishermen.

According to the foreign ministry, the Su'ao-registered fishing boat, the "Hsin Ling Po 236," was hit by Japanese Coast Guard vessel PS-32 at around 2 p.m., Sunday, adding that all crew members on the Taiwanese ship are safe.

Currently controlled by Japan, the uninhabited Diaoyutai Islands, which are northeast of Taiwan and west of Japan's Okinawa Island, have been the focus of a long territorial dispute between Taiwan, Japan and China.

(By Chen Yun-yu and Joseph Yeh)

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