Friday, January 13, 2017

China Goes After Taiwan’s Allies, Official and Not

Given Taiwan’s unusual situation, the erosion of unofficial relationships with key countries could in the long run be more damaging to its survival than the theft of official diplomatic allies. 

Following a visit by China’s Foreign Minister earlier this week, Nigerian authorities ordered Taiwan to move its representative office in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, to Lagos, the country’s commercial center, and to curtail “diplomatic privileges” and staff, a move that, besides the insult, presages escalating efforts by Beijing to narrow Taiwan’s international space. 

Beyond the symbolism of seeing its de-facto embassy removed from the capital, Nigerian officials and organizations have also reportedly been ordered to avoid all official exchanges with Taiwan. Consequently, Taiwan’s presence in the oil-rich African country has been relegated to that of a mere trade office, trade being the only exercise that Beijing officially countenances between Taiwan and the international community. 

Continues here.

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