Nigeria forces Taiwan trade office to relocate

After securing a lucrative investment package from China during the visit of Chinese foreigner minister in January this year, Nigeria ordered Taiwan to rename and move its trade office from the current capital, Abuja, to the commercial hub, Lagos, as well as to reduce the number of staff. Numerous negotiations between Taiwan and Nigeria followed, but to no avail.

Facing strong pressure from China, the director of Taiwan trade office was forced to leave the African country on March 31 as Nigeria could no longer guarantee his safety. Yesterday, Nigeria sent military police to close off the Taiwanese office in Abuja and forced staff to leave.

Taiwan’s trade office in Nigeria is officially know as the Trade Mission of the ROC (Taiwan) in Nigeria. Despite having no official diplomatic relationship, Taiwan has been able to use its official country name in Nigeria since the trade mission’s establishment in in 1991. Nigeria established the Nigeria Trade Office in Taiwan, R.O.C. in 1992.

Similarly, Bahrain, Ecuador, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates have asked Taiwan to rename its de facto embassies in these countries to not contain the words Republic of China, ROC, or Taiwan after facing pressure from the People’s Republic of China. Oficina Comercial de la Republica de China (Taiwan) in Quito, Ecuador has been renamed Oficina Comercial de Taipei, while the Commercial Office of ROC (Taiwan) in Dubai was renamed Commercial Office of Taipei.

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