Taiwan protests over U.N. Women's label as 'province of China'

2019/08/04 20:58:18 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Photo taken from facebook.com/unwomen

Photo taken from facebook.com/unwomen

Taipei, Aug. 4 (CNA) A United Nation's entity has labeled Taiwan as a "province of China" in a graphical representation of countries that recognize same-sex marriages, prompting protests from the Taiwan government and netizens.

U.N. Women, which is dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, posted a list of nations that recognize same-sex marriages Sunday, with their respective flags.

"All people should be able to choose freely whether to enter a partnership, when and with whom," the post said.

Taiwan, together with the United States, Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and 20 others were on the list.

Unusually, the Republic of China flag appeared on the chart. However, it was labeled "province of China," in line with Beijing's position, which has been representing China in the U.N. since 1971.

Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) told CNA that it had already instructed Taiwan's representative office in New York to protest to the U.N. and to demand a correction.

The Taiwan representative office in New York left a message under the post that read: "China is taking credit for something it has not done and the U.N. is complicit in propagating falsehoods. Taiwan is not a part of China and that is the reality."

The U.N. Women's post had gathered more than 14,000 reactions on Facebook as of 7:40 pm Sunday, of which 12,000 were angry face emojis.

"If you really care about human rights, you should know that 'China' has a very bad reputation on this issue. They don't recognize same-sex marriage!" read one response.

"Taiwan is definitely not part of China, you did show the national flag of Taiwan, so why don't you be honest to our name?" another netizen said.

Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage in May after a Cabinet-sponsored bill that gives LGBT couples the right to get married was passed in the legislature and took effect a week later.

China's state-run media, "The People's Daily" tweeted on social media May 19, two days after the bill was passed, that "local lawmakers in Taiwan, China, have legalized same-sex marriage in a first for Asia, according to local media reports."

The tweet prompted an angry response from Taiwan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), who stressed that democratic Taiwan is a country in itself and has nothing to do with authoritarian China.

(By Elaine Hou and Emerson Lim)
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