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Sunday, July 2, 2017

Taiwan to order Nigerian office to leave Taipei



Taiwan will tell the Nigerian trade office to move out of Taipei in a reciprocal move, following the action taken by Abuja against Taipei, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

The ministry recalled the January order by the federal government that Taiwan should move its office from Abuja, change the
name of the office — the Trade Mission of Republic of China (Taiwan) in the federal capital — and cut the number of staff in the office.

It also demanded on March 31 that Morgan Chao, director of the trade office, leave the country, saying that it could not guarantee his safety. Chao has since returned to Taiwan.

Nigeria then sent military personnel on June 30 to seal off the trade office and forced the staff to leave.

The ministry has lodged a serious protest and expressed deep regret over the matter, it said.

The ministry said that there are still four staff of the trade office in Abuja, and they have started relocating to Lagos.

After the completion of the relocation, it will adopt reciprocal moves and tell Nigeria’s trade office to move out of Taipei.

Taiwan believes Nigeria’s approach is part of stepped-up efforts by the Peoples Republic of China to pressure Taiwan since the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen took office on May 20, 2016 and adopted a less conciliatory attitude toward China than its predecessor.

In mid-June, Panama announced it was switching diplomatic ties from Taipei to Beijing and the cutting of all official ties with Taiwan, a decision that leaves only 20 countries that officially recognize the Taiwan.

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