Japan drew angry protests from China after changing the name of its Taiwanese embassy, a move Beijing saw as Tokyo taking a step toward recognizing Taiwan as a separate country.
The name of Japan’s Taiwanese embassy in Taipei was officially changed in a ceremony on Jan. 3 from “The Interchange Association” to “Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association”.
“We firmly oppose any attempt to create ‘two Chinas’ or ‘one China, one Taiwan’, and express strong dissatisfaction with the Japanese side’s negative move,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in response to the name change.
Japan’s move came after Taiwan had sent a blunt message to China by ordering its military forces to prepare to defend threats from China.
Taiwan defense minister Feng Shih-kuan told Taiwan Central News Agency on Dec. 27 that the “enemy’s threats are increasingly expanding” as he issued orders for the military to step up training exercises.
“We must always maintain combat preparedness,” Feng said.
The moves by Japan and Taiwan came shortly after China scaled up its South China Sea campaign. In November, China told Japan’s close ally, the U.S., to stay away from Beijing’s “own” South China Sea.
In June, China warned Japan “not to send Self-Defense Forces to join U.S. operations that test the freedom of navigation in the disputed South China Sea,” according to a Japan Times editorial.
Full article: China angered at change in name of Taiwan embassy in Japan (World Tribune)