Taiwan protests against name at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

Organizers refuse to remove term 'Province of China'

Last year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Last year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has protested against the use of the term “Taiwan, Province of China” by the organizers of the February 25-28 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, reports said Saturday.

The annual event is one of the world’s largest exhibitions in the mobile phone and technology sector, but this year marked the first time that the island nation was not being referred to as simply “Taiwan,” the Apple Daily quoted MOFA as saying.

The decision by the organizers, Britain’s Group Special Mobile Association and the Fira Barcelona, to describe the country as a province of China on their registration website made it impossible for Taiwanese government officials to register for the event, MOFA said.

The ministry contacted the two organizers and asked them to correct the name, but they refused, basing themselves on similar names used by the United Nations and by the International Telecommunication Union, MOFA said.

The use of political motives to interfere with business activities would harm exchanges and development of the global mobile sector, MOFA said in a protest against the name, emphasizing Taiwan’s important role in the industry.

MOFA said it would seek allies in the international community to persuade the MWC to correct Taiwan’s name.