Taiwan’s MOFA protests against LSE for bowing to China by changing artwork color

An online petition asking the school reverse the decision has received over 7,000 signatures

Sculpture 'The World Turned Upside Down'

Sculpture 'The World Turned Upside Down' (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – In response to the decision by the London School of Economics (LSE) to alter the color of Taiwan on an outdoor sculpture implying it is part of China, Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) filed a formal protest on Friday in an open letter addressing the director of the prestigious college in the United Kingdom.

In the letter, Wu reiterated that Taiwan is a sovereign democracy with a democratically elected president, independent military, and political institutions. He underscored the reputation Taiwan enjoys as a “beacon of hope for the people of China, who are still living under autocratic and ruthless communist rule.”

As Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is an LSE alumna, Wu reckoned that if the artwork is changed as per the decision by the school’s management, youths around the world will believe that LSE is “bowing to the pressure and bullying of Beijing.”

The minister called on Dame Minouche Shafik, director of LSE, to make decisions based on “what is true and what is right,” not by judging “who has more power.” “I thus urge you and your institution not to change the depiction of Taiwan on the sculpture.”

Titled “The World Turned Upside Down,” the globe in question is a public art installation by Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Wallinger set up at LSE. Taiwan is labeled "REP. CHINA (Taiwan)" in pink color, while China is labeled "CHINA (People's Republic) in yellow color – which has sparked an outcry from Chinese students insisting the hue of Taiwan match that of China.

Following LSE’s move to kowtow to the Chinese students, an online petition has been launched by Lee Bo-yi (李柏毅), an LSE doctoral student from Taiwan, asking the school to withdraw the decision and allow the artwork to remain as it is.

Read Joseph Wu's open letter here.

Taiwan and China are depicted in different colors originally (Image/Central News Agency)