An online petition is calling on the UK government to recognize the Republic of China as an independent country and resume normal diplomatic relations.
The petition titled “Recognise Taiwan as a country” was created by Lee Chapman on the petition section of the UK government website on January 18. It urges the UK government to recognize the sovereignty of the Taiwanese government.
“Due to the One China policy the United Kingdom doesn’t recognise the Government of the Republic of China and all diplomatic relations between the two countries take place on an unofficial basis,” said the petition.
“It’s time to change this. Taiwan is an independent country. Taiwan maintains the Taipei Representative Office in the U.K. in London with a branch office in Edinburgh while the United Kingdom maintains the British Office Taipei in Taipei. This is ridiculous and must change,” it continued.
“Taiwan is a country, but China states that Taiwan is just another part of China. The consequence is that the USA, UK and most countries in the world don’t want to upset China, therefore do not recognise Taiwan as a country,” the petition concluded.
At time of publishing (January 21, 11:30 p.m.), the petition has already been signed by more than 16,000 people, guaranteeing that the government must issue an official response.
If the petition collects 100,000 signatures by July 18, the government will be forced to consider whether or not to debate the issue in Parliament, a move which would ensure that Britain and China’s “golden decade” of diplomatic relations get off on the wrong foot.