Nomenclature row: Taiwan attains rare victory with EU intervention
TAIPEI (TAIWAN) – Taiwan on Monday expressed content after an international alliance of mayors stopped referring to Taiwanese cities as part of China. This rare win for the island came after EU intervention.
Beijing has stepped up efforts to have international firms and groups to refer to Taiwan as part of China on their websites and in official correspondence. This has raised the hackles of Taipei authorities.
Taiwan officials expressed indignation after Brussels-headquartered Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy listed six Taiwanese cities as belonging to China.
This caused the mayors of the six cities to write an open letter calling for the decision to be reversed.
Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said after the mayors protested, the convention changed the designation of the cities to Chinese Taipei, a name used by Taiwan in international organisations such as the Olympics.
The minister said in Parliament that the EU helped them in this effort although he did not divulge details.
“We are very happy that with everyone’s hard work the name has reverted,” he said.
“Though some people may not be happy with this name, at least the way we participate is not placed under another country.”
EU member states do not have diplomatic relations with the island and the bloc itself tends to keep a low profile when it comes to the Taiwan issue as it does not want to upset China, which is its second biggest trading partner.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the island was an integral part of China.
“Cities in the Taiwan region certainly should be listed as Chinese,” he said.