Taiwan wants overseas offices to act tougher against name changes

Trade offices and embassies should act immediately: MOFA

MOFA spokesman Andrew Lee.

MOFA spokesman Andrew Lee. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Tuesday it had told all of its overseas representative offices and embassies to act tougher as soon as they heard of unfair changes of Taiwan’s name on business and other websites.

China has demanded multinational corporations, and especially airlines, change references to Taiwan on their websites, mainly by adding the word “China” or “Chinese” to imply that Taiwan is not a separate independent country.

MOFA spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said Tuesday that the ministry had told all of its overseas offices that they should take active and concrete steps to fight any such name changes, the Apple Daily reported.

The offices should let the government of their host nation and its departments, legislators, media, multinational corporations and airlines know Taiwan’s official stance in the matter, Lee said.

MOFA indicated that the problem would continue to occur and that all its overseas offices needed to remain vigilant as it would use all channels possible to correct similar situations.

In the latest incident, Air India caved in to Chinese demands by changing Taiwan’s name on its business website. When Taiwan’s office in New Delhi expressed its displeasure with the Indian government, the latter replied it would give advice if corporations asked for it, but it could not determine what those companies did in the end, Lee said.