Left Menu
Development News Edition

British bird group issues gag order over Taiwan-China issue

Taiwan's Chinese Wild Bird Federation (CWBF), based in a small Taipei office, this week became the latest and unlikely front in the geopolitical battle between China and democratically-run Taiwan. In a statement on its Facebook page, CWBF said BirdLife International removed it as a partner after it refused to sign a document committing to not promote or advocate the legitimacy of the Republic of China or the independence of Taiwan from China.

Reuters | Taipei | Updated: 18-09-2020 08:18 IST | Created: 18-09-2020 08:18 IST
British bird group issues gag order over Taiwan-China issue

A British-based wild bird body has issued a gag order telling employees not to comment on its decision to expel a Taiwan conservation group that refused to sign a document related to the Chinese-claimed island's political position. Taiwan's Chinese Wild Bird Federation (CWBF), based in a small Taipei office, this week became the latest and unlikely front in the geopolitical battle between China and democratically-run Taiwan.

In a statement on its Facebook page, CWBF said BirdLife International removed it as a partner after it refused to sign a document committing to not promote or advocate the legitimacy of the Republic of China or the independence of Taiwan from China. The Republic of China is Taiwan's formal name. China has ramped up pressure on international groups and companies to refer to Taiwan as being part of China, part of efforts to assert its sovereignty, to the anger of Taiwan's government and many of its people.

While the Cambridge-based BirdLife International has not commented publicly on the issue, in an email to staff that was reviewed by Reuters, its CEO Patricia Zurita referred to the "sadly public statement" issued by CWBF on the issue. BirdLife as a matter of policy does not comment on internal and governing matters related to its partners, she wrote.

"If you receive any queries regarding this matter, please DO NOT offer comment and instead refer the matter to me directly," Zurita said. Zurita did not respond to an emailed request for comment, nor a message left on her mobile phone or message sent to it.

In a brief emailed comment to Reuters late on Thursday, BirdLife said they will try to respond more fully as soon as they can. Since the news broke, messages have been posted on BirdLife's social media pages denouncing their decision to remove CWBF as a partner, and saying BirdLife has kowtowed to China's Communist Party.

The CWBF has been shocked by the decision, saying it was a non-political organisation and could not sign any political documents as they were conservationists not politicians. The CWBF declined to comment on the gag order, referring instead to its earlier statement.

However, a major partner of BirdLife, Britain's Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, told Reuters it was continuing its work with the CWBF. "There are no political preconditions," it said in an emailed comment.


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

People News Roundup: Sir David Attenborough set for sea trials and Ghislaine Maxwell repeatedly denies witnessing underage sex

Following is a summary of current people news briefs.Britains new polar ship, Sir David Attenborough, set for sea trialsBritains new polar ship, the Sir David Attenborough, will leave for sea trials on Wednesday to be put through its paces ...

Science News Roundup: UK scientific advisor says coronavirus unlikely to be eradicated; COVID-19 complication rates far higher than for flu and more

Following is a summary of current science news briefs. UK scientific advisor says coronavirus unlikely to be eradicatedThe coronavirus will be around for evermore as it is unlikely it will be eradicated, a British scientist on the governmen...

US: Russian hackers targeting state, local networks

US officials said Thursday that Russian hackers have targeted the networks of dozens of state and local governments in the United States in recent days, stealing data from at least two servers. The warning, less than two weeks before the el...

France halts Engie's U.S. LNG deal amid trade, environment disputes

The French government asked power group Engie to hold off on signing a multibillion-dollar U.S. liquefied natural gas import contract on concerns over the deals environmental implications, a source familiar with the matter said. The interve...

Give Feedback