Taiwan’s trade office in Nigeria is to be relocated to Lagos within two weeks, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee (李大維) said yesterday, after the Nigerian government ordered the office moved out of the capital, Abuja, reportedly due to Chinese pressure.
“Our staff in the mission is packing and will move the office to Lagos later this week or next week,” Lee told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee.
Once the relocation is completed, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) is to ask the Nigeria Trade Office in Taiwan to relocate as a retaliatory measure, he said.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
The Nigerian government in January ordered Taiwan to move its office, change the name of the office by removing the title “Republic of China (Taiwan)” and reduce its staff.
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday lauded the move, saying that it showed Nigeria’s “staunch support” for the “one China” principle that sees Taiwan as part of the People’s Republic of China.
Nigeria on March 31 demanded that office director Morgan Chao (趙家寶) leave the country, saying it could not guarantee his safety.
Chao has since returned to Taiwan.
On June 30, Nigerian military personnel sealed off the office and forced its staff off the premises.
In response, Taiwan twice summoned the acting director of the Nigeria Trade Office in Taipei to protest the African country’s moves against Taiwan’s interests, the ministry said.
Lee yesterday said he is concerned about the nation’s diplomatic relations with Palau, after China seemingly pressured that country and the Vatican into banning their nationals from visiting Taiwan.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chuang Ruei-hsiung (莊瑞雄) and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) cited Beijing’s group tourism embargo on the Vatican and Palau, and asked Lee to comment on China’s intentions and the security of Taiwan’s ties with the two diplomatic allies.
Lee said that he has spent a significant amount of time and energy on Palau.
“I have been been picking my brains about the situation,” he said, adding that MOFA Director-General of East Asia and Pacific Affairs Winston Chen (陳文儀) is dealing with the situation.
While Chinese comprise the largest share of tourists to Palau, the latter country’s diplomatic policy is not solely guided by concerns for its tourism industry, Lee said.
When asked by Chiang how he would grade the Taiwan-Palau relationship on a scale of “red,” “yellow” and “green,” Lee said: “It is between yellow and green.”
Asked by Chuang about the nation’s ties with the Holy See, Lee said: “We have a good grip on it and we are confident.”
The nation’s relationship with Palau has experienced difficulties, but they were unrelated to Beijing’s tourism ban and has stabilized, a source said on condition of anonymity.
However, a reshuffling of the nation’s mission in Palau — led by Ambassador Michael Tseng (曾永光) — might take place soon, the source said.
Regarding the Honduran presidential election on Monday, Lee said that the ruling and opposition parties are running neck-and-neck, adding that the Honduran Supreme Electoral Tribunal is expected to announce the election results today.
The ministry has made contact with, and understands the agendas of, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez and presidential candidate Salvador Nasralla, Lee said.
Additional reporting by CNA
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
THE CHINA CONNECTION: As Beijing’s aggression increases, so does Taiwanese consciousness, making a new constitution imperative, Hsu Wei-chun said If the nation is to ratify a new constitution, it must first end any illusions about the current document’s relevance to Taiwan, an academic told a forum in Taipei yesterday. For the constitutional revisionist movement to succeed, it needs public enthusiasm, the right timing and a clear plan of action, Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told attendees at the event titled “Imagining a New Constitution for a New Era,” which was organized by the National Taiwan University Graduate Student Association. The Constitution exists under the “one China” framework and has little relevance to Taiwan, Hsu said, adding that
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday urged Beijing to respect the median line of the Taiwan Strait by immediately stopping its military intimidation of Taiwan, as such actions would only hurt the feelings of Taiwanese. Beijing should immediately stop making military provocations against Taiwan, Ma wrote on Facebook after Chinese warplanes in the past week have made numerous forays across the median line that divides the Taiwan Strait. Although it has never officially acknowledged the median line, Beijing used to respect it, Ma said in response to comments on Monday by Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌), who said