Taiwan says Nigeria wants it to move its trade office from Abuja

Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:41am GMT
 

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan objected on Thursday to a Nigerian request to the island to relocate its representative office in the African country, a request Taiwan sees as more pressure by China to isolate it.

Beijing regards Taiwan as a renegade province, ineligible for state-to-state relations, and to be taken back by force if necessary, especially if it makes moves toward independence.

Taiwan has no diplomatic ties with Nigeria, but has an office for handling business affairs in Abuja.

But Taiwan's foreign ministry said Nigeria has asked Taipei to move its office from Abuja to its former capital, Lagos.

Taiwan called on Nigeria to consider the issue as both sides have an understanding based on reciprocity, under which Nigeria runs a trade office in Taiwan's capital, Taipei.

"The foreign ministry urges Nigeria to leave room for discussion," Taiwan's ministry said in a statement, referring to the request to move the trade office.

"The foreign ministry seriously objects and condemns the unreasonable actions by the Nigerian government," it said.

Nigerian officials met their Chinese counterparts in Abuja on Wednesday and pledged to stick to Beijing's "one China" policy, that Taiwan is a part of China, media reported.

"China affirms and greatly appreciates Nigeria's support for the 'one China' principle," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a regular news briefing in Beijing.   Continued...

A Nigerian flag is seen outside Nigeria Trade Office after Nigerian request to Taiwan to relocate its representative office in the African country, in Taipei, Taiwan January 12, 2017. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
 
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