TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has lodged a protest with the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada over its labeling of Taiwan as a part of China.
In its annual report on its international students, UBC has designated Taiwan a “province of China,” erroneously suggesting that the island country is part of Chinese territory. The move has irked Taiwan's government, with MOFA lashing out at the university for succumbing to pressure from Beijing.
MOFA has instructed the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Vancouver to bring the issue to UBC and request that it right the wrong. “We urge the University of British Columbia not to bow to China and to correct how it addresses Taiwan,” SETN quoted MOFA Spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) as saying.
The incident is yet another example of Beijing’s ongoing campaign to change how businesses and institutions worldwide refer to Taiwan. Since 2018, China has ramped up its efforts to force global airlines to refer to Taiwan as a part of China, threatening penalties if this demand is refused.
Dozens of air carriers have kowtowed to Beijing despite Taiwan’s protests, as well as many retailers and luxury brands.
When it comes to airlines, however, the tide seems to have turned against China during the coronavirus pandemic. At least 22 carriers have rectified their designation of Taiwan on their booking sites as of April 6, according to a MOFA response to an inquiry by Democratic Progressive Party legislator Chiu Chih-wei (邱志偉) last month.
MOFA declined to disclose the names of the companies to spare them any consequences they may face for the decision, wrote Liberty Times.