Envoy to Germany demands correction of Taiwan’s designation

Mercedes-Benz has listed Taiwan on their official English-language websites as "Taiwan, China." (Photoshot by Mercedes-Benz via CNA)

Berlin, March 7 (CNA) In view of the fact that Taiwan is listed as part of China by several major German enterprises, Taiwan’s envoy to Germany Shieh Jhy-Wey (謝志偉) said Wednesday that he has written to these companies demanding a correction.

Shieh was referring in particular to Lufthansa and Mercedes-Benz, which have listed Taiwan on their official English-language websites as “Taiwan, China,” as well as Bosch, which uses “Taiwan (China)” on its website.

“These companies have apparently come under strong pressure from Beijing, as China has been trying to flex its muscle toward Taiwan around the globe recently,” he said. “But this is something that we cannot accept and we have demanded a correction from these companies.”

The issue can be viewed as a follow-up development to an apology to Beijing by Marriott International in January for naming Taiwan as a stand-alone country on an email questionnaire it sent to members of its reward program.

Relations between Taiwan and China have been at a low ebb since Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party came to office in May 2016. China has since then stepped up its offensive against Taiwan by adopting a two-handed strategy.

While it is seeking to block Taiwan’s presence in the international community, it is offering incentives to Taiwan’s private sector in the hope of enticing more Taiwanese people to branch out into China.

In late February, Beijing announced 31 measures that would allow Taiwan’s people to compete on an equal footing with Chinese nationals in China, covering an “unprecedented” broad range of sectors, from students to the film industry.

Scholars have expressed concern that this will accelerate an exodus of talent from Taiwan, pushing the country to a disadvantage in the face of global competition.

(By Lin Yu-li and Flor Wang)