Fiji closes Taiwan office

FIJI has closed its Trade and Tourism Representative Office in Taipei after using it as a de facto embassy for Taiwan since 1997.

  • Staff Reporter
  • 19 May 2017
  • 09:08
  • News
Fiji closes Taiwan office Xi Jinping and Frank Bainimarama. Source: Radio New Zealand

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Fijian representative Karai Vuibau said the decision was based on a review of its embassies and missions worldwide and had been made in order to reallocate the country's resources to better meet its needs, the China Post reported.
 
Attempts by Taiwan to convince Fiji to leave just one or two officials at the office were unsuccessful, according to Kuomintang Legislator Lu Shiow-yen. 
 
Lu also suggested the move was orchestrated by China to embarrass Taiwan, and was based on economic and geographical considerations. 
 
Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama visited Beijing earlier this week with more than 50 world leaders to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.
 
PRC's state-owned newsagency Xinhua reported that Bainimarama met with PRC president Xi Jinping, who told Bainimarama that China would encourage more tourists to Fiji and support the expansion of Chinese business on the island nation.
 
Only a handful of states recognise Taiwan as the Republic of China, including six nations in Oceania.
 
However, Taiwan has more than 100 representative offices in more than 70 countries to foster trade, investment and tourism.

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