Taiwan slams the mainland for trying ‘to erase it from the world map’

Mainland China gets airlines to stop referring to Taiwan as a separate country, convinces Asian Olympic Committee to cancel youth competition scheduled next year in the Taiwanese city of Taichung. The Taiwanese will not accept this, says spokesperson for Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry.

Taipei (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Chinese government is trying to isolate Taiwan internationally, but the people of Taiwan will not accept the mainland’s “attempts to destroy Taiwan’s sovereignty, and erase it from the world map,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrew Lee said.

Taiwan has been de facto independent since 1949, when the nationalist government led by Chiang Kai-shek was defeated by the People's Liberation Army led by Mao Zedong.

Immediately after the military debacle, the Generalissimo fled with his government and army to the island. Since then, Beijing has considered Taiwan "a rebel province", whilst for decades Taipei has declared itself the real capital of the real China.

Taiwan was recognised as the legitimate government of all of China until 1971, the year when Sino-American détente enabled Beijing to take China’s seat at the United Nations.

Since then, Taiwan began to lose diplomatic recognition from other states. At present, only 19 countries formally recognise it.

In recent weeks, China has put pressure on international airlines to cancel "Taiwan" as a separate country.

In addition, Beijing has succeeded in getting the Asian Olympic Committee to withdraw the island’s right to host a youth competition scheduled for next year in the central city of Taichung.

“These are attempts to destroy Taiwan’s sovereignty, and erase it from the world map,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrew Lee.  “I believe that no Taiwanese people would accept such a thing,” Lee added.

For its part, the Chinese government said that Taiwan was to blame for the cancellation, claiming that the actions of “Taiwan independence” elements on the self-ruled island had led to political interference.