TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan expressed satisfaction on Monday and said the European Union stepped in to help after a global alliance of mayors stopped referring to Taiwanese cities as part of China, in a rare victory for China. isolates amid rising Chinese pressure.
China has stepped up efforts to persuade international groups and companies to refer to democratic Taiwan, declared by the Chinese as part of China, on their websites and in official documents, to the ire of the Taiwanese government and many of its citizens.
Over the weekend, Taiwanese officials expressed anger after the Brussels-based Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy began listing its six Taiwanese members cited as belonging to China on its website.
The mayors of the cities then wrote an open letter asking for the decision to be annulled.
The European Union “helped us in this effort,” Wu told parliament, without giving details.
“We are very happy that with everyone’s hard work the name is back,” he said.
“While some people may not be happy with this name, at least the way we participate is not classified in another country.”
There was no immediate response from the EU.
The Global Covenant, in a brief statement, blamed a “glitch in the database” for the designation change, which it said had now been fixed.
No EU member state has diplomatic ties with Taiwan and the EU itself tends to keep a low profile when it comes to Taiwan, wary of upsetting China, its second trading partner.
In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory.
“Cities in the Taiwan region should certainly be listed as Chinese,” he told reporters.
Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Additional reporting by Cate Cadell in Beijing; Editing by Robert Birsel and Toby Chopra