Under pressure from China, Jordan wants Taiwan to change office name

Taipei Economic and Cultural Office is the new name: MOFA

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Petra in Jordan, a favorite destination for Taiwanese tourists in the Middle East.

Petra in Jordan, a favorite destination for Taiwanese tourists in the Middle East. (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Jordan has asked Taiwan to change the name of its representative office in Amman due to pressure from China, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Saturday.

The incident is the latest example of Chinese attempts to limit Taiwan’s international space, following several incidents last year where the island saw itself forced to change the names of its representative offices overseas in countries it doesn’t even have official diplomatic relations with.

In the most extreme example, in Nigeria, it even had to move the office out of the capital Abuja to the city of Lagos.

In the latest case, Jordan had asked Taiwan to drop the name “Commercial Office of the Republic of China (Taiwan)” and adopt a new title, “Taipei Economic and Cultural Office,” MOFA told the Central News Agency.

The incident would not affect close economic, commercial, cultural and academic relations between the two countries, while the Middle Eastern kingdom would remain one of Taiwanese travelers’ favorite destinations in the region, MOFA spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said.

Last year, Taiwan also changed the names of its offices in Dubai, Bahrain and Ecuador, all due to pressure from China on the host countries.