[UPDATE] UK Will Respond to “Recognise Taiwan as a Country” Petition

 [UPDATE] UK Will Respond to “Recognise Taiwan as a Country” Petition
圖片來源:petition.parliament.uk
What you need to know

UK authorities have noticed that the number of signitures has gone over the threshold of 10,000, and they will initiate the responding process in the coming days. Once the signing number reaches more than 100,000, the parliament will consider organizing a debate.

Listen
powered by Cyberon

The News Lens international edition is sponsored by Tutor A B C

Translated by Bing-sheng Lee

A British citizen, Lee Chapman, launched a petition on the UK parliament website asking the government to acknowledge Taiwan’s sovereignty. Now the number of people signing up for the petition has surpassed 10000, which means the government has to respond to it.

The petition reads:

“Due to the One China policy the United Kingdom doesn’t recognise the Government of the Republic of China and all diplomatic relations between the two countries take place on an unofficial basis.”

“It’s time to change this. Taiwan is an independent country. Taiwan maintains the Taipei Representative Office in the U.K. in London with a branch office in Edinburgh while the United Kingdom maintains the British Office Taipei in Taipei. This is ridiculous and must change. Taiwan is a country, but China states that Taiwan is just another part of China. The consequence is that the USA, UK and most countries in the world don’t want to upset China, therefore do not recognise Taiwan as a country.”

CNA reports, the British law regulates that if a petition garners more than 10,000 signings, the government must reply to it. Once the signing number reaches more than 100,000, the parliament will consider organizing a debate.

The news of the petition has been spread widely on social media recently, accelerating the increase in the signing total. Authorities have noticed that the number of signatures has gone over the threshold of 10,000, and they will initiate the responding process in the coming days. It usually takes several weeks for the UK Foreign Office to prepare its response.

Other online petitions involving controversy over sovereignty include a case taking place in the Philippines in 2015. Some Filipinos asked Google Map to change the name of the Scarborough Shoal Island from Huangyan Island to Scarborough Shoal, which is a title more recognized among international communities.

They organized the petition on an online campaign platform, Change.org, and stated that if Google Map defined Scarborough Shoal as a part of Zhongsha Islands, China’s claim of Scarborough Shoal as its territory would become a reality.

Google’s office in Manila then issued a statement saying they understood how geographical names might arouse people’s emotions, which was why they reacted quickly and avoided putting themselves under the spotlight.

UPDATE: Following the UK petition, a US petition was launched anonymously requesting the Obama administration to recognize Taiwan as an independent country. The petition reads:

In 1928, the USA was the first government to recognize the Republic of China. Now in Taiwan, the government has become a beacon of democracy and freedom in Asia.

The people have elected the first woman president, Tsai Ing-wen, and have given a majority to the opposition, the Democratic Progressive Party. This shows Taiwan is a free democracy, allows peaceful transition of powers, promotes human rights and gender equality.

Because of the People’s Republic of China, few countries have formal relations with Taiwan. China threatens with military exercises, bullies Taiwanese people when they display national pride, and bullies the world into believing there can be only “one China."

The USA should reaffirm its commitment to Taiwan, and should stand on the side of democracy, not coercion.

The US petition has collected over 8,500 signatures as of January 25, and the US government will need to issue a response if the petition gathers more than 10,000 signatures within a month, which is by February 18 in this case.

The UK government has yet to make a response to the UK petition, which has garnered more than 20,000 signatures up to today.

Edited by Olivia Yang
Sources: