Nigeria severs diplomatic relations with Taiwan to please China

The federal government has withdrawn all diplomatic relations with Taiwan and ordered the closure of the Taiwanese office in Abuja.

Geoffrey Onyeama, minister of foreign affairs, disclosed this at news conference in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said the government had decided to pledge support for ‘One China’.

“Taiwan will stop enjoying any privileges because it is not a country that is recognised under international law and under the position we have taken internationally, we recognise the people of China,” he said.

“Taiwan will not have any diplomatic representation in Nigeria and also they will be moving out of Abuja to Lagos to the extent that they function as a trade mission with a skeletal staff.

“Chinese government does not oppose trading with Taiwan as such as long there is no formal contact with the government that will suggest recognition of Taiwan as sovereign country.”

He said Nigeria was not forced to take the decision, adding that the country recognised the People’s Republic of China as a country because Nigeria was one of the leading African nations that fought for China to reclaim its seat at the UN Security Council from Taiwan.

He said the step being taken was to right a wrong that one could not “specifically say how it came”.

“It was not very clear how it got into the Nigerian system – an arrangement for the Taiwan for a trade mission,” he said.

“And in granting the right of the trade mission, it did not accurately reflect the nature of relationship between Nigeria and Taiwan.”

Onyeama said the country took the decision in order to remove any iota of doubt in the mind of the Chinese people.

He said on the issue of building trust, the international community had embraced one China, and China is a member of the United Nations.

“We don’t want to leave any doubt on the issue,” he said.