Nigeria severs diplomatic ties with Taiwan, shuts down Abuja office

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*Onyeama

The federal government has severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan and pledged its unalloyed support for the One China policy.

The minister of foreign affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, stated this at a joint press conference with the Chinese minister of foreign affairs in Abuja.

Onyeama said Nigeria had withdrawn all diplomatic relations with Taiwan as a country, adding that Taiwanese office in Abuja would be shut down and be relocated to Lagos.

According to him, Nigeria has communicated Taiwan and they are moving to Lagos as soon as possible.

“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.

“Taiwan will not have any diplomatic representation in Nigeria and also they will be moving 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 as there is no formal contact with the government that will suggest recognition of Taiwan as sovereign country,” he said.

He said China does not oppose relationship with Taiwan in the level of trade but not on government to government level.

The minister, however, said Nigeria was not pressured to take the decision, noting that the development was a bit of anomaly on the side of Nigeria.

Onyeama said Nigeria recognises 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 taken was to right the wrongs that one could not specifically say how it came about.

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

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

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

On the issue of building trust, Onyeama said the international community had embraced the One China policy adding that “China is a member of the United Nations and we don’t want to leave any doubt on the issue.

He stressed that Nigeria would adhere to it completely saying “there is no ambiguity at all.”

The minister further said Nigeria as a nation would do everything to realise the One China policy as well as any effort that would promote the peace and well being of country.

 

 

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