The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has strongly condemned the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ “overbearing use of political power” to coarsely interfere with the behavior of private businesses and the operations of international corporations, ministry spokesperson Andrew Lee (李憲章) said in Taipei yesterday.
The statement came in response to a report that China warned US airlines against referring to Taiwan as an independent nation.
“The Civil Aviation Administration of China has sent a letter to United Airlines and American Airlines demanding that their global operations follow China’s restrictions against ‘separatism,’ meaning that any references to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as countries independent from China must be removed,” Washington-based Foreign Policy magazine reported on Friday. “The strongly worded letter demands that all public-facing content, across the world, must follow ‘Chinese law.’”
“It gives the airlines a set timeline to comply with the demands, threatening that if not obeyed, the matter will be referred to ‘the relevant cybersecurity authorities’ for punishment,” it added, citing a source with access to the letter.
Lee said the ministry is greatly concerned about the matter and has asked its offices in the US to verify the matter with the airlines.
It has also asked the offices to reiterate the government’s position, ask the airlines to handle the situation appropriately and urge them not to degrade Taiwan or damage the Republic of China’s (ROC) sovereignty and dignity due to Beijing’s threat, Lee said.
The ROC is an independent and sovereign nation, Lee added.
Taiwan’s achievements, including the development of democracy, freedom, human rights and the rule of law, have received recognition from the international community, Lee said.
No matter what measures Beijing takes, threatening foreign businesses to submit to its false claims would not only fail to change the objective fact, but also increase Taiwanese’s aversion toward the Chinese government, he said.
Separately yesterday, the ministry said that Jordan has asked Taiwan to change the name of its representative office in its capital, Amman, citing pressure from China.
As a result, the name of the office would soon be changed from the “Commercial Office of the Republic of China (Taiwan)” to the “Taipei Economic and Cultural Office,” Lee said.
While the name change is a blow to Taiwan’s international image, the office would continue to function as usual and promote bilateral exchanges and cooperation in the areas of culture, academia and trade, he said.
The request by Jordan was not surprising, as Beijing had been pressuring Jordan on the issue since last year, Lee said.
TWO CASES: The five allegedly conspired with conglomerates, threatening the nation’s governance and subverting the rules of ethical conduct, a deputy chief prosecutor said Taipei prosecutors yesterday charged three legislators and one former lawmaker with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) in a case linked to former Pacific Distribution Investment Co (太平洋流通) chairman Lee Heng-lung’s (李恆隆) battle with the Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) over ownership of the Pacific SOGO Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨) chain, while independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) was indicted in a separate case involving two funeral services companies and a plot of land in a national park. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and former New Power Party legislator
PENGHU INSPECTION: Taiwan cannot let its enemies strut around in its airspace, Tsai said, one day after a Chinese spokesman denied a median line exists in the Taiwan Strait Following China’s assertion on Monday that there is no “median line” in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged to defend the nation’s airspace during a visit to an air force base in Penghu, saying that Taiwan cannot allow others to flex their military muscle in its territorial airspace. Tsai praised the “heroic performance” of the pilots of the Indigenous Defense Fighters who have been intercepting Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes in recent days. “I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China [ROC], how could we let enemies strut
Swedish Member of Parliament Hampus Hagman is pushing for changing the name of the nation’s trade office in Taipei to signal improved relations with “Asia’s perhaps foremost democracy.” Hagman on Wednesday last week proposed renaming the Swedish Trade and Invest Council to “Sweden’s Office in Taipei,” following similar changes by other nations. The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, part of Business Sweden, is owned by the Swedish government and Swedish industry. Taiwan and Sweden share important values such as respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom of speech, Hagman said in the motion, adding that the two nations
EFFICIENCY: The rules for Philippine arrivals were revised after 17.6% of arrivals with symptoms tested positive, compared with 0.7% of those with no symptoms Starting today, Chinese spouses who hold a reunion permit can apply to enter Taiwan and travelers without symptoms from the Philippines do not need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, but are to be tested after a 14-day quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from today, Chinese who are married to a Taiwanese citizen and hold a reunion permit can apply to the National Immigration Agency for entry into Taiwan. Chinese who are married to a foreign national and hold an accompanied reunion permit