Taiwan pulled its trade officials from Hong Kong after the city demanded they sign a document professing their commitment to the 'One China' principle

Taiwan pulled its trade officials from Hong Kong after the city demanded they sign a document professing their commitment to the 'One China' principle
·2 min read
Taiwan flags Hong Kong
A man holds Taiwanese flags as he joins others to attend a rally to mark Taiwan's National Day, in the Tsim Sha Tsui district in Hong Kong on October 10, 2019. Philip FONG/AFP via Getty Images
  • Taiwan's government has recalled all but one of its officials working in its Hong Kong trade office.

  • Hong Kong mandated that the Taiwanese staff sign a document acknowledging the "One China" principle for their visas to be renewed.

  • The Taiwanese refused to sign the document because it's at odds with their government's foreign policy.

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A fresh diplomatic row has erupted, this time between Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The Taiwanese government recalled seven of its eight staff members stationed at its trade office in Hong Kong over the weekend, per a Guardian report. This is because the city's government is mandating that all staff members working at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Hong Kong must sign a document acknowledging their commitment to the "One China" policy.

The Hong Kong government said the signing of this document was a prerequisite to renew their work visas.

The "One China" policy, which implies that the Beijing-based Chinese Communist Party-led government is the only Chinese government, is at odds with Taiwan's position. The Chinese government has claimed Taiwan as a "renegade province" that is part of its territory, but the Taiwanese view the island as an independently ruled, self-governing state with its own military.

The South China Morning Post spoke to Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chiu Tai-san, who said seven staff members were flown back to Taiwan over the weekend after their work visas were not renewed, following their refusal to sign the document.

"The unreasonable demand by the Hong Kong government for our officials to sign the one-China document is the major reason why we have to adjust our operations in Hong Kong," Chiu told the SCMP.

This last staff member is set to return to Taiwan in July when his visa expires, Chiu added, noting that Taiwan will still keep some of its operations in the city going, particularly those concerning travel and immigration, trade, and culture.

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