Taiwan Disputes Nigeria’s Move to Close Abuja Office Following China Talks
The Taiwanese government condemned Nigeria's latest to remove Taiwan's office from Abuja following recent developments between Nigeria and China. A statement issued by Taiwan officials on Thursday urged the Nigerian government to reconsider the move and leave an open room for discussion.
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Mail and Guardian Africa reported that Taiwan objected Nigeria's move to relocate Taiwan's trade office from the capital Abuja to the commerical hub in Lagos.
"The Foreign Ministry urges Nigeria to leave room for discussion in regard to the matter," Taiwan's ministry said in a statement.
Nigeria on Wednesday ordered the immediate closure of Taiwan's trade offices in Abuja following developed trade links between Nigeria and China. Nigeria was also looking to re-affirm its position in the "One China" policy.
Speaking during the occasion, Nigeria's Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, explained that the Nigerian government would take every necessary step to ensure a peaceful co-existence between Nigeria and China. He further clarified that Nigeria is not acting under pressure from China, describing the Taiwan trade offices as "an anomaly."
Meanwhile, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed joy on Nigeria's initiative to move the Taiwan trade offices. He further said that China would consider investing another $40 billion in the West African oil producer.
Taiwan and China have long been economic rivals with each state trying to garner allies through investments. China continues to exert pressure on Taiwan to acknowledge the "One China" policy.
Taiwan currently has diplomatic ties with two countries in Africa, namely, Burkina Faso and Swaziland.