Taipei (Taiwan News) -- China expressed dissatisfaction on Wednesday after Japan's decision to change the name of de facto embassy in Taiwan from "Interchange Association, Japan" to "Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association," a move welcomed by Taiwanese politicians.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying (華春瑩) said China has always maintained a clear stance that it opposes any attempts by Taiwan to create "one China, one Taiwan", or "two Chinas." China regards Taiwan as part of its territory to be retaken by force, if necessary, if it seeks independence.
"As for the negative move by Japan on the Taiwan issue, we are extremely dissatisfied," Hua told a media briefing.
Hua exhorted Japan to honor the "one China" principle, appropriately handle Taiwan-related matters, and not send a wrong message to Taiwan and the international community or create new disturbances in China-Japan ties.
Old name of the association at the top and the new name including "Taiwan" below (Image by CNA)
The association represents Japanese interests in the absence of formal diplomatic relations. Its Taiwanese counterpart, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO), has been headed by a former premier, Frank Hsieh, for the past few months in another sign of harmonious relations between the two countries.
Academics described the name change for the office as an important milestone, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in Taipei welcomed it.
MOFA described the Japanese office's new name as a positive development reflecting the increasing business and trade relationship. Taiwan is Tokyo's fourth largest trading partner, Japan is Taiwan's third largest.