- Taiwan said on Tuesday it has protested with South Korea after a conference invitation to one of the island’s ministers was revoked over “cross-Strait issues.”
- Taiwan’s digital minister Tang was set to speak at a conference in the South Korean capital.
Taiwan said on Tuesday it has protested with South Korea after a conference invitation to one of the island’s ministers was revoked over “cross-Strait issues.”
The word, which refers to the Taiwan Strait, is used in diplomacy to describe relations between Taipei and Beijing, which considers the island its territory — to be taken one day, by force if necessary.
Taiwan’s digital minister Tang was set to speak at a conference in the South Korean capital on December 16. Still, the island’s foreign ministry said that it was canceled with the organizers citing “several aspects of cross-Strait issues.”
“The ministry has summoned the South Korean acting member to Taipei to express our strong dissatisfaction over the impolite action,” said spokeswoman Joanne Ou.
She added that Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to Seoul has also protested.
China balks at any official exchanges between other countries and self-ruled Taiwan.
In recent years, it has stepped up pressure to isolate the island internationally, getting eight nations to switch diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing since 2016.
Seoul officially recognizes Beijing over Taipei.
“I understand the conclusion was made after a review of all aspects,” South Korean foreign ministry spokesperson Choi Young-sam told reporters on Tuesday when told about the conference call off.
“Our government’s position stays the same, in that we would seek to continue enhancing unofficial exchanges with Taiwan.”
South Korea is one major Western ally in Asia, but Seoul is less outspoken than Tokyo in support of Taiwan.
This month, South Korean President Moon Jae-in ruled out joining the US-led diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China welcomed a decision.
Moon said that South Korea wanted a harmonious relationship with China and cited the need to work with Beijing — North Korea’s main backer — to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula.
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