More than 20,000 sign Meldreth man’s petition to recognise Taiwan as a country

Lee and Naomi.

Lee and Naomi. - Credit: Archant

A Meldreth man has become an internet sensation after starting a petition to recognise Taiwan as an independent country.

Lee Chapman, of North End, launched the petition ‘Recognise Taiwan as a country’ last Monday, and after only three days had 10,000 signatures – the level at which the Government has to respond.

Lee, who married Taiwanese Naomi Li in Cambridge in October, said: “I started the petition in order to try and get the UK to formally recognise Taiwan as a country, because currently it does not.

“The level of support has been amazing, I didn’t envisage the petition to take off so quickly.

“Hopefully the level of support will prove to be a tipping point and lead to Taiwan being officially recognised by the UK government.

“The aim is to get this issue debated in the House of Commons so there that a true democratic decision can be made.”

The 27-year-old’s petition now stands at more than 20,000 signatures. If it reaches 100,000 before July 18, the government will decide if the issue should be debated in parliament.

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Since he started the campaign, Lee has been inundated with messages of support from people living in Taiwan and his work has been highlighted by a social network group in the Asian country.

Lee’s petition states: “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.

“It’s time to change this. Taiwan is an independent 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.”

To sign the petition, click here.

China has claimed power over Taiwan since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, when the nationalist government fled to the island as the communists came to power.

But despite the impasse, Taiwan has become one of Asia’s biggest traders.