TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Following the closure of Taiwan’s representative office in the Nigerian capital Abuja by 25 armed police, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Saturday it would demand the removal of Nigeria’s office from Taipei City.
Pressure from China was said to have played a large role in a demand from Nigeria last January for the Taiwanese office to change its name and leave Abuja. Even though Taiwan was already making preparations to move its premises to the African country’s largest city, Lagos, armed police still showed up Friday and shut down the office. Taiwan decided to evacuate staff in order to protect their safety. Four people were still left working in Abuja, MOFA said.
The ministry lodged a strong protest early Saturday, and later said that when its office in Nigeria had found a new home in Lagos, it would take corresponding action and ask the “Nigeria Trade Office in Taiwan (ROC)” to leave Taipei City.
After last month’s break with Panama, Nigeria was named as one of five countries, none of them allies, where Taiwan’s offices had come under pressure to change their name. The other locations were Ecuador, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Bahrain.
The offices in Ecuador and Dubai were forced to replace references to Taiwan and to the Republic of China in their name with the term ‘Taipei.’