Despite an ongoing ban on Taiwanese nationals visiting the Indian Ocean nation of Mauritius, long-haul fishing vessels registered in Taiwan are still permitted to make port calls in the African nation.
It is believed the reasoning behind the ban on Taiwanese nationals by Mauritius is Taiwan’s proximity to China, and authorities in the capital of Port Louis accepting Beijing’s ‘One-China’ mantra.
Mauritius referred to Taiwan as ‘Chinese Taipei’ in announcing its ban.
Taiwan’s Fisheries Agency deputy director Wang Cheng-fang, on Monday, however, announced that Taiwan’s fishing vessels are still able to operate out of its ports at present.
This decision was primarily down to time spent at sea without a need to put into home ports in Taiwan or ports elsewhere in Asia, thereby avoiding any time spent in an area with known cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Mauritius is reportedly maintaining a close watch on whether issues surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 crisis escalates in Asia.
In recent years around 600 Taiwanese fishing vessels have been operating with the help of ports in Mauritius.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in Taipei has asked the government in Mauritius to “correct” the grouping of Taiwan with China, Hong Kong and Macau through official channels according to the Central News Agency in moves reminiscent of last week’s on-off ban of Taiwanese nationals visiting the Philippines, on the back of “inaccurate information” from the World Health Organization (WHO).
In recent weeks the WHO has proven increasingly oblivious to claims from around the world highlighting the difference between Taiwan and China.