The Taipei Trade Office in Fiji has been restored to its former name, Trade Mission of the Republic of China (Taiwan)as reported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Fiji issued a note verbale on Friday of last week to the office, saying the name change was retroactive to March 15. The The mission’s diplomatic privileges were reinstated as stipulated in the Fiji Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities Act 1971.
Taiwan established a trade mission in Fiji in 1971, which was closed and replaced by the East Asia Trade Center in 1976 after China and Fiji established diplomatic relations. The East Asia Trade Center was renamed the Republic of China (Taiwan) Trade Mission to the Republic of Fiji in 1988, before it Beijing pressured Fiji to change it to the Fiji Taipei Trade Office in 2018 and revoke the privileges of Taiwanese diplomats. .
After Fiji’s general election in December last year, the pro-democratic opposition parties formed a coalition and annulled the name change imposed by the previous government.
the new government recognized Taiwan’s contributions in the fields of agriculture, fishing, health care, and education, and decided to allow the return of the previous name for the representative office. Although China has yet to comment on the change, it is likely to react aggressively, according to the director general of the Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Wallace Chow.
Wallace Chow, head of the Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the Foreign Ministry, said Fiji had officially notified the ministry of its change of position on Friday. the official thanked Fiji for their decision adding that it is a like-minded partner in the Pacific region and that Taiwan will continue to strengthen its ties with the nation.
Fiji closed its representative office in Taipei in 2017, reportedly due to a need to make better use of its resources rather than pressure from China. Despite the lack of official diplomatic ties with Taiwan, Fijian leaders have visited Taiwan and advocated Taiwan’s international involvement on several occasions. According to a diplomatic source, Fiji’s new, more Taiwan-friendly government has been in talks to reopen the office in Taipei.
Taiwan has just 13 diplomatic allies, most of them small nations in the Caribbean and Pacific. Over the weekend, Honduras severed diplomatic relations with Taipei and established them with Beijing.
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