Taiwan's 'China' designation corrected on website of international mayoral coalition

Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy botches names of Taipei and New Taipei mayors

(GCoM website screenshot)

(GCoM website screenshot)

Update 9:24 a.m.
GCoM has updated its Taipei and New Taipei City pages to correct the names of the cities' sitting mayors.

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An international network of mayors dedicated to mitigating climate change has restored the Taiwan section to its original name after erroneously referring to it as "China."

On Sunday (Sept. 27), Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) issued a statement saying it was aware that the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM) was listing the six Taiwanese cities that belong to its coalition of thousands — Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung — under the country category of "China."

The ministry said it had filed a complaint with the organization, asking it to change Taiwan's listing back to the original "Chinese Taipei," the name under which it had been granted membership, and not to "dwarf the names of participating local governments" in the country.

MOFA also lodged a protest with the secretariat of the Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) — a founding member and major partner of GCoM — in Brussels. At the ministry's behest, the Kaosiung City Government emailed its concerns to ICLEI Secretary-General Gino Van Begin.

On Monday (Sept. 28), the ministry announced that the country listing for the cities had been restored to "Chinese Taipei" by GCoM, which attributed the mistake to a "technical error."

MOFA noted that the six cities had issued a joint statement threatening to withdraw from the organization in the absence of correction, and it thanked the Kaohsiung authorities, GCoM, and other relevant actors involved in addressing the issue. The Kaohsiung City Government on Monday tweeted that in 2006, Kaohsiung "became Taiwan’s first ICLEI member city," adding it would keep working toward "emission reduction and energy transformation, and contribute to the future of the world."

Due to Chinese pressure campaigns, Taiwan has had to participate as Chinese Taipei in a number of international organizations and competitions, including the Olympic Games, Miss World, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. China's government has also used its economic clout to press many organizations and companies to list the nation as "Taiwan, China."

While the GCoM has updated the names of participating Taiwanese cities, the names given for two mayors are incorrect as of time of publication.

For Taipei, it currently lists "Yu-ih Hou" as mayor instead of Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), who was elected to head the capital in 2014. Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) is, in fact, the current mayor of New Taipei, but for that city GCoM lists "Liluan Chu," referring to Eric Chu (朱立倫), whom Hou succeeded two years ago.

(GCoM website screenshot)