The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said Nigeria has decided to play along with a Chinese “peremptory political scheme,” after the west African country announced that it would no longer recognize Taiwan as a nation and would cease all diplomatic relations in accordance with the “one China” principle.
The ministry in a news release accused Nigeria of seeking to confuse the international community by declaring that it would honor the “one China” principle and sever diplomatic relations with Taipei, as the two nations have never established formal diplomatic ties.
“The ministry strongly protests and deplores the Nigerian government’s cooperation with China to carry out a politically motivated, unreasonable, peremptory and brutal scheme,” it said.
The strongly worded statement followed a joint news conference by Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama and visiting Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) in Abuja on Wednesday, at which they said that Taipei’s office in the capital would be shut down and moved to Lagos, Nigeria.
“Taiwan will not have any diplomatic representation in Nigeria and also they will be moving to Lagos, to the extent that they function as a trade mission with a skeletal staff,” the state-run News Agency of Nigeria quoted Onyeama as saying.
Nigerian officials and organizations have also been banned from having official exchanges with Taiwan.
Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times
At a news conference in Taipei yesterday morning, ministry spokeswoman Eleanor Wang (王珮玲) urged Nigeria to leave room for follow-up negotiations.
“In an effort to promote a substantial trade relationship, Taiwan and Nigeria inked a memorandum of understanding on mutually establishing trade missions on Nov. 21, 1990,” she said.
In 1991, Taiwan established a trade mission in the then-Nigerian capital, Lagos, before moving it to its new capital, Abuja, after reaching a consensus with the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in August 2001, Eleanor Wang said, adding that since then China has been pressuring Nigeria to relocate Taipei’s office back to Lagos.
Beijing has stepped up efforts to suppress Taipei in the international arena as part of punitive measures over President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) refusal to acknowledge the so-called “1992 consensus.”
The “1992 consensus” refers to a tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge that there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means. Former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted to making up the term in 2000.
Later yesterday, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Shih-ying (蔡適應) said that China’s nonsensical tactics were not conducive to improving cross-strait ties and were beneath the great power Beijing claims to be.
The lawmaker went on to ridicule Nigeria’s announcement, saying: “I did not know you could break up with someone without even being in a relationship with them in the first place.”
An internal Nigerian government document detailing the decision had been available since last week, Tsai Shih-ying said, calling on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to step up its efforts to safeguard Taiwan’s international status.
Separately yesterday, in Guatemala, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺), who is accompanying the president on her ongoing visit to Central America, said China’s pressuring of Taiwan would only raise hackles.
Beijing’s return to its old track — the use of pressure or intimidation — would only antagonize Taiwanese and would not be favorable to the development of cross-strait relations, he added.
“The existence of the Republic of China is an indisputable fact. Applying pressure and intimidation will not change that fact,” Huang said.
Additional reporting by CNA
The Lithuanian Ministry of National Defense recommended that consumers avoid buying Chinese mobile phones and advised people to throw away the ones they have now after a government report found the devices had built-in censorship capabilities. Flagship phones sold in Europe by China’s smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp (小米) have a built-in ability to detect and censor terms such as “Free Tibet,” “Long live Taiwan independence” or “democracy movement,” Lithuania’s state-run cybersecurity body said on Tuesday. The capability in Xiaomi’s Mi 10T 5G phone software had been turned off for the “European Union region,” but can be turned on remotely at any time,
CLOSE COOPERATION: A House of Representatives bill suggests inviting Taiwan’s navy to participate in the world’s largest international maritime military exercises The US House of Representatives on Thursday passed its annual defense policy bill, which includes provisions recommending that Taiwan be included in next year’s Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) and enhanced cooperation between Taiwan and the US National Guard. The House approved the US$777.9 billion National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 in a 316-113 vote. The 1,390-page bill includes three major provisions related to Taiwan under sections 1243, 1247 and 1248. Section 1248 recommends that the US invite Taiwan’s navy to participate in next year’s RIMPAC. Taiwan has never been invited to participate in the event, which is the world’s largest
CLOSED DOORS? The new US rules, which are to be implemented in November, have sparked concern in Taiwan, given its low fully vaccinated coverage rate The US plans to allow entry to most foreign air travelers as long as they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — while adding a testing requirement for unvaccinated Americans and barring entry for foreigners who have not received shots. The measures announced on Monday by the White House mark the most sweeping change to US travel policies in months, and widen the gap in rules between vaccinated people — who would see restrictions relaxed — and unvaccinated people. The new rules would replace existing bans on foreigners’ travel to the US from certain regions, including Europe. While the move would open the
‘FIGHT FOR VICTORY’: Eric Chu said his election victory would be the beginning of the DPP’s worries and that he would open all channels of communication with China Former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) was yesterday elected Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman in a four-way race that included outgoing chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣). Chu, 60, garnered 85,164 votes, or 45 percent of the 187,998 KMT members who cast ballots. Sun Yat-sen School president Chang Ya-chung (張亞中) trailed behind with 60,632 votes, followed by Chiang with 35,090 votes and former Changhua County commissioner Cho Po-yuan (卓伯源) with 5,133 votes. Voter turnout was 50.71 percent. This will be Chu’s second time heading the party. He was elected KMT chairman in an unopposed by-election in January 2015 and resigned in January