Wed, Jun 28, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Mission in Ecuador forced to change name

Staff writer, with CNA

The nation’s trade office in Ecuador has had to change its name because of pressure from China, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday.

The ministry’s Web site shows that Oficina Comercial de la Republica de China (Taiwan) in Quito is now called the Oficina Comercial de Taipei.

The Ecuadoran government demanded the name change, and the ministry expressed serious regret and lodged a protest over the move, ministry spokeswoman Eleanor Wang (王珮玲) said.

The office has continued normal operations to handle affairs related to consular matters, Taiwanese expatriates and bilateral trade, she said.

Ecuador’s demand comes after Taiwan’s trade office in Dubai last month had to change its name from the “Commercial Office of ROC (Taiwan)” to the “Commercial Office of Taipei.”

Taiwan’s trade office in Nigeria is also preparing relocate from Abuja, the ministry said.

Department of West Asian and African Affairs Director-General Chen Chun-shen (陳俊賢) had previously said that the Nigerian government informed Taiwan in late March that the mission should leave or it could not guarantee its safety.

Chen also said five trade offices with the “Republic of China” or “Taiwan” in their names have come pressure from China to change their names.

If the offices are not renamed, the host countries might ask that the plaques identifying the missions be removed, Chen said.

Three trade missions now have “the Republic of China” or “Taiwan” in their names: in Nigeria, Bahrain and Jordan.

The name changes are widely seen as part of China’s stepped-up efforts to pressure Taiwan since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office last year.

Panama announced two weeks ago that it was switching diplomatic ties to Beijing after more than 100 years.

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