Daily Management Review

Nigeria Courts China and Attempts to Trim Ties with Taiwan


01/15/2017




Nigeria Courts China and Attempts to Trim Ties with Taiwan
Just a day after China announced plans to invest a further $40 billion in the African country – Nigeria, Taiwan was asked to move its representative office out of the capital Abuja. Taiwan has objected to the Nigerian request as being "unreasonable".
 
Beijing has been allegedly trying to isolate Taiwan in the world by the use of its diplomatic and economic power and the Taiwanese protest highlighted the country’s frustration with Beijing's such a policy. Nigeria has asked Taiwan to move to the former capital city of Lagos and the removal was primarily asked for the office, which handles business affairs, Taiwan's foreign ministry said.
 
Taiwanese foreign ministry urged the African country saying: "The foreign ministry seriously objects and condemns the unreasonable actions by the Nigerian government."
 
Beijing regards Taiwan as its own territory and one that can be taken back by force if necessary and the Asian powerhouse looks at Taiwan as a renegade province, ineligible for state-to-state relations. Last year the U.S. President-elect Donald Trump accepted a congratulatory phone call from the president of the island country of Taiwan and had a long conversation. Trump later tweeted about the phone call which drew sharp comments from the Chinese authorities. The Chinese protest to the phone call essentially underscores the sensitivity of the issue as far a Beijing is concerned.
 
"Taiwan will not have any diplomatic representation in Nigeria and also they will be moving to Lagos, to the extent that they function as a trade mission with a skeletal staff," Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama was quoted by state news agency NAN as saying after a meeting his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Abuja and after the request to move the office was made.
 
In addition to current projects already worth more than that amount, China planned to invest $40 billion in Nigeria, NAN quoted Wang as saying.
 
The Chinese demands that the two sides had agreed to stick to Beijing's "one China" policy and that Taiwan is a part of China was underscored in a statement on the Chinese foreign ministry's website.
 
Media reports that Nigeria had cut ties with Taiwan were incorrect was stated in a statement that was issued by Nigeria's presidency soon after the incident was made public in he media.
 
"The correct position is that the official relationship between Nigeria and Taiwan has been at the level of trade representation and this has not changed from what it used to be," said a statement by the president's spokesman, Garba Shehu.
 
However, the issue of Taiwan being asked to move its Abuja office was not referred to in the emailed statement from Nigerian presidency
 
With only two in Africa, Taiwan has 21 formal allies. Sao Tome, a former African ally of Taiwan, switched its diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China last month. Taiwan it often sets up trade and commerce offices, in capitals and major cities in countries with which Taiwan has no formal diplomatic relations.
 
The relations between China and Taiwan have worsened since Tsai Ing-wen, who heads a pro-independence party, was elected president of the island last year even though economic ties between the mainland and Taiwan have grown considerably in recent years.
 
(Source:www.cnbc.com) 






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