Nigeria closes Taiwan office in Abuja

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The Nigerian government on Wednesday said it has ordered to shut down Taiwan's office in Abuja, the nation's capital, and to move its trade mission to Lagos.

Nigeria's Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama told journalists after reaffirming the One-China Policy at a joint press conference with visiting Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, that Taiwan will now have to function in Lagos with a skeletal staff.

"Taiwan will stop enjoying any privileges because it is not a country that is recognized under international law and under the position we have taken internationally, we recognize the People's Republic of China, the One-China Policy" the Nigerian FM said.

The official said Nigeria has already informed Taiwan its decision and ordered its office in Abuja to shut down.

According to Onyeama, Nigeria had taken the step to remove any doubts that its earlier decision to grant Taiwan a trade mission had cast on the mutual beneficial trust and understanding between China and Nigeria.

Nigeria would do everything to realize the One-China Policy as well as any effort that would promote the peace and well-being of the People's Republic of China, he said.

On his part, Wang said the government of People's Republic of China appreciated Nigeria's position and the recent measures taken accordingly by Nigeria.

The One-China principle represents China's core interest and it is the prerequisite and foundation for China to maintain and develop friendly relations with all countries in the world, he said.

"I think we do understand each other absolutely on this issue because Nigerian side has always been upholding the Keep Nigeria One Principle," he told journalists at the joint press conference.

Nigeria had earlier issued a joint communiqué with China in 2005, affirming that Beijing was "the only legitimate government representing the whole of China and Taiwan is an inalienable part of its territory."

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