Macau follows Hong Kong in shuttering Taiwan office - RTHK
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Macau follows Hong Kong in shuttering Taiwan office

2021-06-16 HKT 13:55
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  • Macau says its Economic and Cultural Delegation in Taiwan will temporarily suspend operations from June 19. File image: Shutterstock
    Macau says its Economic and Cultural Delegation in Taiwan will temporarily suspend operations from June 19. File image: Shutterstock
Macau said it was closing its representative office in Taiwan, following neighbouring Hong Kong which made the same move last month in protest at Taipei's support for pro-democracy activists.

The Mainland Affairs Council in Taiwan called the move "extremely regrettable", and stressed its office in Macau will continue operating to provide support for Taiwan people living in the gaming hub.

In a short statement issued on Wednesday, Macau announced its Economic and Cultural Delegation in Taiwan will temporarily suspend operations from June 19.

No reason was given for the closure, but the wording was almost identical to last month's statement by Hong Kong.

That announcement was then followed by Hong Kong's government confirming the closure was indeed political.

Taiwan, Hong Kong said, had "grossly interfered" in the city's affairs on repeated occasions and "created irretrievable damage" to relations.

China had encouraged trade offices when relations were warmer.

But since the 2016 election of Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, Beijing cut official contacts and ramped up economic, military and diplomatic pressure.

Beijing loathes Tsai because she regards Taiwan as a de facto sovereign nation and not part of "one China".

Her government is also a vocal supporter of democratic principles and has quietly helped open its doors to some Hongkongers trying to escape Beijing's crackdown on dissent after huge democracy protests rocked the financial hub in 2019. (Additional reporting by AFP)