Fiji has closed its representative office in Taipei to make better use of its resources and not because of pressure from China as one lawmaker has claimed, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.
The Fiji Trade and Tourism Representative Office was shut down on Wednesday last week after Fijian Representative to Taiwan Karaisitiani Vuibau notified the ministry of his nation’s decision to end its operations in Taiwan, ministry spokeswoman Eleanor Wang (王珮玲) said.
Despite the closure of Fiji’s office in Taipei, Taiwan’s representative office in Fiji would continue to operate, Wang said.
Fiji’s move was made to reallocate resources to better meet the nation’s needs, Wang said, adding that unofficial bilateral ties between the two nations would not be affected by the move.
The closure of the office was brought to light by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lu Hsiu-yen (盧秀燕) during a legislative committee meeting yesterday.
Lu said she learned that one of the reasons behind the closure of the office was an attempt by China — which maintains diplomatic relations with Fiji — to suppress Taiwan amid strained cross-strait relations.
However, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Wu Chih-chung (吳志中) told the committee that it was believed that Fiji closed its office mainly due to its limited financial resources, forcing it to adjust the number of foreign missions it supports.
The ministry saw the closure as an isolated case that would not have a “domino effect,” Wu said.
The ministry provided administrative assistance to help Fijian officials close the office and they in turn expressed their gratitude to the ministry for its efforts to help advance bilateral ties over the years, Wang said.
Fiji set up its representative office in Taiwan in 1997, in an effort to advance trade, investment and tourism relations, after the nations signed a joint “mutual recognition” communique in 1996, the ministry said.
Taiwan set up a trade mission in Fiji in 1971, which was closed and replaced by the East Asia Trade Center in 1976, a year after China and Fiji established diplomatic ties.
The East Asia Trade Center was renamed the Trade Mission of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the Republic of Fiji in 1988.
LOOPHOLES: The people behind biased media content produced by a Chinese network, likely without sending staff to Taiwan, remain anonymous, a source said Beijing’s latest attempt at psychological warfare through heavily biased online media is aimed at sowing discord and polarizing Taiwanese society, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said. The council’s comment came in response to Chinese network Southeast Television, which late last month began broadcasting an online program featuring commentary by Taiwanese unification supporters that authorities suspect was filmed illegally in Taiwan. To circumvent cross-strait regulations, the broadcaster collaborated with online service provider Baidu to air the series titles Diverse Voices From the Taiwan Strait (台海百家說). Only Taiwanese are shown on camera, without revealing the host, interviewer or production team. In one video, political commentator and
RULES IGNORED: CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang said that crew members who break the rules would be required to complete the full 14-day quarantine Three EVA Airways flight attendants were fired last month and this month after they failed to follow the government’s quarantine requirements. This was the first time that flight attendants have lost their jobs for quarantine failures. One flight attendant reportedly breached the quarantine mandate by going to school, visiting relatives and dining with friends, while lying to the company about her activities, EVA Air said. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) have established disease prevention measures for cabin crew members, such as monitoring their health and reporting their temperature daily, the company said. While on flight duty, crew
A group of overseas Taiwanese in Norway are taking a case on their national identity to the European Court of Human Rights — with plans to file the case in the first half of next year — after Norway’s Supreme Court rejected their appeal to change their listed nationality from “China” to “Taiwan,” Joseph Liu, a Taiwanese lawyer living in Norway, told reporters on Monday. One of the initiators of the movement, “My Name, My Right,” Liu and his group plan to hire lawyers from the UK and France who know European law and have knowledge of Asia to represent them,
SUPPRESSION: Michael Tsai, a former defense minister, said that Beijing’s list of Taiwan independence advocates contravenes the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights The best way to respond to threats from China against Taiwan independence advocates is for the president to publicly reiterate Taiwan’s sovereignty, former minister of national defense Michael Tsai (蔡明憲) said on Sunday. Chinese media on Nov. 15 said that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was compiling “a list of stubborn Taiwanese separatists and will severely punish them in accordance with [China’s] Anti-Secession Law and hold them accountable for their actions for the rest of their lives.” Chinese media subsequently accused Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) of being a “first-rate war criminal,” because of his policy on mask exports. “The vast majority