DHARAMSALA, 14 Sept: China has reacted sharply as the US is considering a request from Taiwan to change the name of its mission in Washington from Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office to Taiwan Representative Office.
While the Biden administration is “seriously considering” allowing Taiwan to rename its mission, a Chinese state-run media, Global Times has warned of “severe economic and military measures” if Taiwan’s mission in the US changes its name.
“If the U.S. and the Taiwan island change the names, they are suspected of touching the red line of China’s Anti-Secession Law, and the Chinese mainland will have to take severe economic and military measures to combat the arrogance of the U.S. and the island of Taiwan. At that time, the mainland should impose severe economic sanctions on the island and even carry out an economic blockade on the island, depending on the circumstances,” Global Times warned on Sunday.
The development came amid China’s increasing tension with both the US and Taiwan. The US is one of the strongest allies of Taiwan and the report further described the US support to the self-ruled island as “rock solid.”
Meanwhile, Taiwan and Lithuania agreed last month that the self-ruled island’s new mission in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania will be called the ‘Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania’ rather than ‘Chinese Taipei’ much to the dismay of Beijing.
Reacting furiously over Lithuania’s decision to allow Taiwan to open a diplomatic office in the country, China recalled its own ambassador from the baltic country and forced Lithuania to recall its Beijing envoy.
The self-ruled island headed by independence-leaning President Tsai Ing-wen now has formal relations with only 15 countries, many of them small, less-developed nations in Central America and the Pacific, including Belize and Nauru,
Beijing claims self-ruled and democratic Taiwan as its own and views it as a wayward province to be reunified with China by force if necessary.
Taiwan has been self-governed since 1949 when Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang troops fled to the island after losing China’s civil war to Mao’s Communist Party.