The UK Responds To Petition, Not Recognizing Taiwan As A State

The UK Responds To Petition, Not Recognizing Taiwan As A State
Photo Credit: Yellow@Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0

What you need to know

The petition “Recognise Taiwan as a country” gained over 10,000 signings within 20 days, and the UK government responded to it on February 5, stating its consistent position that they “do not recognise Taiwan as a state.”

Translated by Shin-wei Chang

On January 18, Lee Chapman, a UK citizen, launched the petition “Recognise Taiwan as a country,” asking the government to acknowledge the sovereignty of Taiwan (Republic of China). The petition collected over 10,000 signatures within 20 days, which means the UK government needs to make a response.

On February 5, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office stated that their consistent position is that they “do not recognise Taiwan as a state.” It also quoted the 1972 Joint Communique between the United Kingdom and China, saying that “The UK acknowledges the Chinese position that Taiwan is a province of the People’s Republic of China and recognises the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal government of China.”

Due to the “One China Policy,” the UK government is not able to admit the sovereignty of the Republic of China. However, the UK emphasized that there is a “strong but unofficial” relationship between the UK and Taiwan. It also states, “the United Kingdom and Taiwan have a strong but unofficial relationship, based on dynamic commercial, educational and cultural ties and facilitated by The British Office, Taipei, and the Taipei Representative Office in London.”

Regarding the UK’s response, the spokeswoman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wang Pei-Lin says that since the Republic of China was founded in 1912, it has been a sovereign democratic state that develops relationships with other foreign countries independently. It also joins many international organizations, actively participates humanitarian aids and so on. The UK government can’t deny these facts.

Taiwan’s representative to Britain, Liu Chih-kung, expressed his appreciation over the concern of British citizens for Taiwan. He also says the UK government’s response reflected the consistent position of the country and isn’t surprising.

Lee Chapman, the person who initiated the petition, says he hopes that the petition can be debated within the UK parliament. However, according to regulations, the number of signings needs to reach 100,000 for this to take effect. The petition has garnered approximately 29,000 signatures and will close on July 18.

Edited by Olivia Yang

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