Taipei, June 1 (CNA) The new Fiji government appears to be having second thoughts about its recent decision to allow the Taiwan representative office there to revert to its former name, which includes the words "Republic of China (ROC)," the foreign ministry in Taipei indicated on Thursday.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and its office in Fiji are in negotiations with the Fiji government over the matter and will make public more details at an appropriate time," MOFA spokesperson Jeff Liu (劉永健) told reporters, without elaborating.
The talks were initiated after Fiji said recently that it was facing "extreme pressure" from China on the issue, Liu said, hinting that the Fiji government may be forced to revoke its decision regarding the name of the Taiwan representative office due to coercion from China.
Amid such pressure, the Fiji government may ask Taiwan to change the name of the "Trade Mission of the Republic of China (Taiwan)" back to the "Taipei Trade Office in Fiji," Liu hinted, but he declined to give any concrete information on the matter.
In March, the Fiji government, which was elected late last year, notified Taiwan that its representative office there could revert to its former name, which included "ROC," the formal name of Taiwan, Liu said.
At the time, the Fiji government also said that diplomatic privileges for Taiwanese diplomats at the representative office, which had been revoked in 2018 by the then-government, would be restored in accordance with Fiji's Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities Act 1971.
In response, the Taiwan government had thanked the Fiji administration and expressed the hope that the two sides would continue to deepen their friendly relations, MOFA said.
The decisions announced in March were made despite the lack of official diplomatic relations between the two countries, after Fiji elected a new government in December 2022, bringing a Taiwan-friendly three-party coalition to power.
Since then, the name of the Taiwan representative office has been changed back on its website to the "Trade Mission of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the Republic of Fiji," but MOFA has not yet released an official photograph of the office bearing the new name.
The previous Fiji administration had forced the Taiwan representative office in 2018 to change its name to the "Taipei Trade Office in Fiji," according to MOFA.
The Republic of Fiji was the first Pacific island country to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, in 1975. China set up an embassy there in 1976, and Fiji opened its embassy in China in 2001.
Despite the lack of official diplomatic ties with the ROC, Fiji leaders have visited Taiwan and have advocated on several occasions for Taiwan's participation in international organizations, according to a diplomatic source, who asked not to be named.
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The national flag of Fiji flies in front of the TWTC International Trade Building in Taipei in this undated photo.
Update Date：2023/06/02 Back