TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) on Wednesday (Oct. 16) said that a petition calling for the White House to recognize Taiwan as an independent county is a "farce" brought on by the "black hands" of Taiwanese independence forces.
At approximately 4:00 p.m. (Taiwan time) on Sunday, a White House petition calling on the U.S. government to recognize Taiwan as an independently governed nation surpassed the required threshold of 100,000 signatures. The petition was started on Oct. 7 by someone with the initials K.W. and calls on the U.S. to “formally recognize Taiwan as the independently governed nation it has been for over 60 years.”
At a regularly scheduled press conference on Wednesday, TAO spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) responded to the petition by saying "This is a farce, [it's] not worth commenting on." Yet he went on to say that "Obviously, this is not a spontaneous activity, it is the black hands of the Taiwan independence forces reaching out to this website," reported Chinese state-run mouthpiece Ecns.cn.
Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said that the petition was a spontaneous activity by the American people and that the government of Taiwan expresses its respect for them, reported Liberty Times. Those seeking to sign the petition can do so at petitions.whitehouse.gov.