Fri, Sep 08, 2006 - Page 3 News List

MOFA officials lash out at China's acts of oppression

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The international diplomatic struggle between Taiwan and China was highlighted by officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday, as they decried what they described as China's continuing acts of oppression.

During a launch yesterday for the book, Taiwan NGOs Reaching Out to the World, Jeffrey Wang (王志發), the executive secretary of the MOFA's Committee for NGO Affairs, yesterday used the example of the local chapter of Lions Clubs International as an example of China's diplomatic oppression.

In 2004, a battle over the name of the local chapter of the international volunteer club spilled into US courts, after the Chinese chapter of the club successfully forced the organization to change the name of the Taiwanese chapter.

Wang said that the previous title of the Lions Clubs chapter in Taiwan was "MD300 Taiwan," but China's Lions Clubs chapter successfully lobbied the organization's headquarters to change Taiwan's title to "MD300 China Taiwan."

Taiwan expressed its objections to the headquarters of the Lions Clubs International, yet did not get a positive response, Wang said.

"Therefore, we filed a lawsuit against the Lions Clubs International in 2004 in a court in Chicago, which was the first time that Taiwan filed a lawsuit over the title issue," Wang said.

However, the court threw out the case last year, telling Taiwan's Lions Clubs to use "an internal measure" in Lions Clubs International to resolve the problem.

Wang said that Taiwan's Lions Clubs had established a task force for rectifying the title of the organization and tried to seek a third party outside the Lions Clubs International to negotiate with China.

"The club has contacted Singapore's Lions Clubs and some other academic institutes to help negotiate with China," Wang said yesterday.

"MOFA also promised us to give full support in terms of this issue," he added.

In addition to the Lions Clubs, China has pressured many international NGOs and forced them to change the title of Taiwan's membership or even forced Taiwan out of those NGOs, Wang said.

"China takes advantage of its diplomatic relations and the superiority of its power to attain its goal," Wang said. "But Taiwan will not give up resisting China's oppression."

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