Sweden tax agency kowtows to China, lists Taiwan as 'province'

Swedish government tax website kowtows to China and changes Taiwan's status to a 'province'

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(Screenshot of Swedish Tax Agency website)

(Screenshot of Swedish Tax Agency website)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Bowing to pressure from China, the Swedish Tax Agency on Feb. 28 changed the name of Taiwan on its website to "Province of China," drawing a swift protest from the Taiwanese government and Taiwanese netizens.

In an announcement released on its website on Feb. 28, the Swedish Tax Agency stated that it would change the name of Taiwan from "Republic of China (Taiwan)" to "Taiwan, Province of China." The explanation was that the change was made to conform to the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

in response to the move, Andrew Lee (李憲章), spokesman of Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said that the Swedish government decision to change the name was unacceptable and that an immediate correction should be made. Lee told CNA that upon being informed of the move on Saturday afternoon (March 3) , the ministry immediately contacted Sweden's representative office in Taiwan and expressed that it was unacceptable to the government and people of Taiwan and to restore the original name immediately in order to safeguard the national dignity and rights of the Taiwanese people.

A Facebook community page, @sweditdesk (瑞小編的工作檯), which posts news about Taiwan in traditional characters, uploaded a post on March 3 criticizing the Swedish government's decision saying that Taiwan's tax laws are different from China's, Taiwan and Sweden reached an agreement over 10 years ago that Taiwanese in Sweden will not be subject to double taxation, immigration law in Taiwan is different from that of China, and Taiwanese citizens have visa-free entry privileges in many countries, while Chinese do not. The Facebook user then emphasized that it is important to not confuse the two countries.

The Facebook page then suggested sending an email to protest the decision to the the Swedish Tax Agency's online customer service forms in English and Swedish.


Circled area in red shows where name of Taiwan has been changed. (Screenshot of Swedish Tax Agency website)