Taiwan will not cave in to Chinese pressure and will continue to conduct exchanges with foreign countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday, after Nikkei Asia reported that Greece warned its officials not to attend events organized by Taiwan to avoid angering Beijing.
In an article published on Thursday, the magazine cited an e-mail reportedly signed by Greek Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexandra Papadopoulou asking Greek diplomats at home and abroad to avoid events hosted by Taiwan to avoid angering China.
The notice, marked “urgent,” also warned against meeting with Taiwanese officials in Greek government buildings or de facto embassies known as Taipei representative offices.
Photo: Yang Cheng-yu, Taipei Times
“The participation of ministers, members of parliament and civil servants in receptions or events of the Representative Office must be avoided,” Nikkei Asia quoted the e-mail as saying.
Such behavior was “perceived as an indirect recognition of the independence of Taiwan,” and might cause “serious problems” in Greece-China relations, it added.
Nikkei Asia said the warning was an “unprecedented move,” citing an unnamed source who received the notice and people familiar with the European nation’s Taiwan policy.
The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not respond to questions about the policy or whether it was motivated by pressure from China.
The Taipei Representative Office in Greece also declined to comment, Nikkei Asia said.
In Taipei, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not directly confirm or deny the authenticity of the reported warning in a written statement.
It said that as a responsible member of the international community, Taiwan remains open-minded in conducting exchanges and interacting with foreign countries.
“Taiwan will never cave in to China’s long-term and pervasive pressure, and unilateral behavior in altering the status quo,” it said.
Taiwan would continue to enhance relations with like-minded countries based on the universal values of freedom, democracy, the rule of law and human rights, to contribute to regional and global security and prosperity, the ministry added.
A Facebook post by the Taipei Representative Office in Greece showed that it held a Double Ten National Day reception on Oct. 9 at the Divani Caravel Hotel in Athens, hosted by Representative Sherman Kuo (郭時南).
The post included several photographs featuring Kuo, but none of them identified participating guests.
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