NASA has become the latest foreign organization to offend China as it referred to Taiwan as a country, Bloomberg reported.
China offended as NASA called Taiwan a country
NASA recently listed Taiwan as a country in an application form for the Send Your Names to Mars project on its website. Applicants were able to carve their names onto a chip and send it into space during its next mission in 2026.
Those who registered for the activity noticed Taiwan’s name on the site’s drop-down menu. Taiwan is a democratically governed island with a population of 23.5 million people.
The Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council reacted to NASA listing Taiwan island as a “country” on its website. The council asked NASA to rectify its mistake immediately.
“We hold a clear and firm attitude that the island of Taiwan is part of China,” said spokesperson Zhu Fenglian at a press conference on Wednesday.
“NASA has severely violated the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US joint communiqués. It is not only against the international consensus on the one-China principle but also hurts Chinese people’s feelings,” Zhu added.
A commentary published on a Chinese Communist Party news site on Monday termed the incident as “unforgivable.”
China and the US had mutually signed the three China-US joint communiqués. It acknowledges China is the only one and Taiwan is part of China.
Several Chinese netizens who were willing to participate in NASA activity got furious by the wrong listing of Taiwan island. Hence, they decided to withdraw from the activity.
Although an email request for a response sent to NASA there was no prompt answer.
Foreign companies often engage with the Chinese government over political issues. Chinese netizens last week demanded to boycott Hennes & Mauritz AB due to an undated statement on its website. It said that they won’t use cotton from Xinjiang.
Whereas, in 2018, U.S. airlines had to stop calling Taiwan a country after pressure from the Chinese government.
China’s Communist Party considers Taiwan a territory, which it believes to take by force if necessary. The Taipei government dismisses Beijing’s claim, insisting Taiwan is already a de facto sovereign state.