Left Menu
Development News Edition

British charity flagged separatism concerns in Taiwan-China bird flap

It also asked them to formally commit not to advocate or promote in any way Taiwan's independence of Taiwan or the legitimacy of the Republic of China. It is not clear from the correspondence whether the Chinese government was involved in the request, though expressions like "Chinese Taiwan" are how Beijing requires international organisations refer to the island.

Reuters | Taipei | Updated: 25-09-2020 11:55 IST | Created: 25-09-2020 11:44 IST
British charity flagged separatism concerns in Taiwan-China bird flap
Representative image Image Credit: Pixabay

Concerns a Taiwan bird group was bent on promoting the Chinese-claimed island's independence drove a British charity to ditch ties with them, according to letters published on Friday, as a complex geopolitical tangle entered the world of conservation. Taiwan's Chinese Wild Bird Federation (CWBF), since renamed the Taiwan Wild Bird Federation (TWBF), this month became the latest and unlikely frontline in Chinese efforts to assert sovereignty over the democratically-ruled island.

China has ramped up pressure on international groups and companies to refer to Taiwan as being part of China, to the anger of Taiwan's government and many of its people. In correspondence published by the TWFB on its website, the Cambridge-based BirdLife International said it was committed to "follow UN positions and protocols on countries and territories" and to treating Taiwan, which it referred to as "Chinese Taiwan", as part of China.

BirdLife, which said it was responding to an internal risk review, demanded the group stop using the expression Republic of China, Taiwan's formal name, "and/or any other expression suggesting independence". It also asked them to formally commit not to advocate or promote in any way Taiwan's independence of Taiwan or the legitimacy of the Republic of China.

It is not clear from the correspondence whether the Chinese government was involved in the request, though expressions like "Chinese Taiwan" are how Beijing requires international organisations refer to the island. BirdLife did not respond to several requests for comment.

The TWBF, which had refused to sign any political documents, reiterated it has never taken a political position. "We are conservationists, not political actors. In fact, it was BirdLife who asked us to take a political stance by insisting we sign an overtly political declaration and by describing us as a 'risk', without ever clearly defining what that risk was."

Beijing's government took over the Chinese seat at the United Nations in 1971 from Taipei, though the U.N. resolution on that move makes no explicit mention of Taiwan's status.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

New farm bills in India: Focusing on farms or farmers?

... ...

Kenya’s COVID-19 response: Chaos amid lack of information

Confusing numbers and scanty information on how effective curfews and lockdowns have been in breaking transmission have amplified coordination and planning challenges in Kenyas response to COVID-19. Without accurate data, it is impossible t...

Farkhad Akhmedov: Calculating the price of impunity from the law

In insistences such as the battle over the Luna, Akhmedov has resorted to extreme legal machinations to subvert the High Courts decision and keep his assets from being seized. ...

Guinea’s elections hearken back to the autocracy and violence of its past

... ...

Videos

Latest News

NEWSMAKER-After year of turmoil, Hariri returns as Lebanese premier

A year after Lebanon was rocked by huge protests against its entrenched ruling elite, politicians have picked the same prime minister who was pushed out then to lead it out of crisis now. Saad al-Hariri, a three-time prime minister and heir...

Vatican to push for religious freedom as China deal extended

The Vatican and China on Thursday renewed an agreement on the appointment of bishops in China and the Vatican promised to push the communist government to allow more freedom of religion. The accord gives the pope the final say over the appo...

Voting begins in Seychelles parliamentary and presidential vote

Voting began on Thursday in presidential and parliamentary elections in Seychelles, with the economy battered by COVID-19 as President Danny Faure faces voters for the first time. The Indian Ocean archipelago nation is expected to see its t...

YSRCP, BJP destroying Andhra capital Amaravati: State Congress chief

Andhra Pradesh Congress president Dr Sake Sailajanath on Thursday alleged that the YSRCP and the Bharatiya Janata Party BJP were hand in glove and were destroying the capital city of the state, Amaravati. While the YSRCP is speaking of thre...

Give Feedback