Taiwan office will be closed if political, Dhaka tells Beijing
By Saleem Samad
DHAKA: Bangladesh has assured China that it will close the Taiwanese liaison office in Dhaka if it finds evidence of its involvement in political and diplomatic activities.
The assurance came after China asked Bangladesh on Sunday to shut down the office that Beijing said was operating with political and diplomatic motives and as part of “separatist activities against China”.
“I handed over a letter from Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing to his counterpart here regarding the Taiwanese liaison office issue,” Chinese Ambassador in Bangladesh Chai Xi told reporters after a-two-hours meeting with Bangladeshi Foreign Minister M Morshed Khan and Foreign Secretary Shamsher Mobin Chaudhry.
The ambassador said that the Chinese embassy obtained visa forms from the Taiwanese office in Gulshan, adding, “You (journalists) can also get forms from there.”
“This office is not representing any private enterprise. It is an official office. According to our information, this office was set up on March 1. We still hope Bangladesh will not allow this,” he said.
Beijing had assured Dhaka they had non-objection to private business between Bangladesh and Taiwan.
Mr Morshed said Bangladesh believed in a “one-China policy” and condemned a statement of the Taiwanese foreign minister, who said the office would begin diplomatic ties between the two countries.
On the letter from the Chinese foreign minister, Mr Morshed said, “Bangladesh will never allow Taiwan to gain diplomatically and politically in the name of business.” Bangladesh and Taiwan do not have diplomatic ties, but private sector trade has boomed over the years. Bangladesh and China have traditionally warm ties, with Beijing an important donor and military supplier.