Should a plan to open in Tallinn a representative office relating to the Republic of China (ROC), ie. Taiwan, come to fruition this may, daily Postimees reports, lead to the departure of the People's Republic of China's (PRC) new ambassador to Estonia, that official says.
New PRC ambassador Guo Xiaomei recently met at the Riigikogu wtih Estonia-China parliamentary group chair Toomas Kivimägi (Eesti 200) at her own request, expressing her concern over a visit of the ROC foreign minister to Estonia today, Wednesday, and about the Estonian government's decision to go ahead with a non-diplomatic representative office to be opened in Tallinn.
Postimees reports that the meeting may be part of a round of such consultations since Ambassador Guo presented her credentials to President Alar Karis a little over a month ago, and which so far has included a meeting with Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart, late on last month.
Kivimägi says he wished to discuss a recent incident which saw the Balticconnector gas pipeline, being ruptured last month, alongside damage to a communications cable – one theory has it that the dragging anchor from a large ship in the area at the time and sailing under the Hong Kong special administrative region's flag was a potential culprit, but "we didn't manage to discuss this issue, because the time for the meeting ran out," Kivimägi said.
Kivimägi also said it is possible the ambassador knew about the plans to open the Taipei representative office in Tallinn, since her request for the meeting predated that announcement last Thursday, while "The ambassador's clear message was that this could mean the departure of the Chinese ambassador from Estonia," he went on, calling the matter a "problem" and a "very serious challenge."
Taiwan will be permitted to open an economic or cultural representative office in Estonia under the name Taipei, the Estonian government has agreed. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stressed, however, that Estonia still follows a One China policy, does not recognize Taiwan, and will not develop political relations with that country.
Nonetheless, Taiwan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Jaushieh Joseph Wu, is in Tallinn Wednesday, while his visit will include taking part in a seminar organized by think-tank the International Center for Defense and Security (ICDS), though he will not officially meet with members of the government during his trip.
The planned economic or cultural representative office will be under the name of Taipei and is not a diplomatic mission as such.
Beijing claims Taiwan as its territory; the ROC government, which ruled in mainland China from the 1920s-1940s, fled to Taiwan after the 1949 Maoist takeover. The island of Taiwan itself, formerly Formosa, had been occupied by imperial Japan for half-a-century prior to that.
Editor: Andrew Whyte