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Wu says battling 'China factor' will be his key mission in U.S.

Wu says battling 'China factor' will be his key mission in U.S.

Taiwan's new envoy to the United States has come to Washington with a list of grievances - not about U.S. policy, but about moves by China he says are aimed at undercutting the self-ruled island.
Representative Joseph Wu's (吳釗燮) three weeks as head of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office -sometimes referred to as Taiwan's de facto embassy - has coincided with two examples of China's campaign against the island.
Last month, the U.N.'s World Health Organization refused to hear Taiwan's request for membership, agreeing with China that the island is not eligible for membership because it is not a sovereign state.
The WHO setback came amid a dispute in which Taiwan, upset by being listed among domestic Chinese cities and Hong Kong on the proposed torch relay route for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, rejected an offer to carry the flame.
"We need to let the international community understand that Taiwan is not a part of the PRC," Wu in an interview. The communist People's Republic of China has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949.
Wu, who holds a Ph.D in political science from Ohio State University, came to his job after three years as chairman of the body that oversees Taipei's dealings with Beijing.
He told Reuters a key mission for him in Washington is to counter the "China factor," which has a big impact on how U.S. and other officials treat Taiwan.
"It's going to be very hard for me to change the U.S. official position, but it's very good for me to let them know some of our serious concerns over the Chinese manipulation of international organizations," Wu said.
Beijing frequently makes international bodies use China-related names to describe Taiwan - a policy that offends many of the democratic island's 23 million people, Wu said.
At the 2008 Olympics, the team representing Taiwan will be known as Chinese Taipei, a decades-old formula that Taipei dislikes but follows to allow its athletes to compete.
Wu said he is concerned about fresh slights next year, such as Taiwan's athletes being forced to march or stay with those of China or medal winners from the island being announced as Chinese athletes - "the kinds of things they always do."
Wu produced a list of more than a dozen examples of Chinese pressure on third parties to follow Beijing's line, ranging from Internet search engines that treat the island as a province of China to the addition of the word "China" to Taiwan's chapter of the Lions Club.
"There are numerous other examples of the Chinese government trying to change Taiwan's title or participation," he said. "It gets us very angry and this is the factor that is causing instability in cross-strait relations."


Updated : 2021-10-22 02:45 GMT+08:00