China is reported to be deeply upset with Japan after the latter's de facto embassy in Taipei announced to change its name to include the word Taiwan, a self-ruled island nation that Beijing sees as its renegade province.
The Interchange Association, Japan will now be re-named as the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, starting from 1 January 2017. Like most countries in the world, Japan too is thought to be maintaining only informal relations with Taiwan while the main diplomatic ties are with Beijing.
China has always maintained a clear stance when it came to Taiwan and has been consistently condemning calls to declare independence to Taiwan. It also opposed attempts to create "one China, one Taiwan", or "two Chinas" policy, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.
"As for the negative move by Japan on the Taiwan issue, we are extremely dissatisfied," Reuters cited Hua as saying.
While an official from the Interchange Association said the embassy decided to rename itself to enhance its recognition, Hua urged Tokyo to endorse the "one China" principle. She warned the Far East nation to handle any matters related to Taiwan appropriately and added that Tokyo should refrain from sending a wrong message to Taipei and the international community, straining Japan-China relationship.
The two Asian giant economies have difficult ties, and the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's recent visit to Pearl Harbor site for historical reconciliation and to seek stronger US-Japan ties is seen by Beijing as a way to contain it.
China has never resorted to use of force to bring Taiwan under its control, but it has hinted at several occasion in the past that it would not hesitate to deploy military in the island nation if its ruling pro-democratic party or its leader President Tsai Ing-wen approach Beijing seeking freedom.
Japan has ruled Taiwan from 1895 to 1945 and is reportedly seen by some as having been good for the island's development.
Taiwan or Hong Kong's independence is a serious issue for the communist country and the 'one China' principle threw spotlight on the recent tirade between the US and China after President-elect Donald Trump engaged in a telephonic conversation with Tsai, breaching diplomatic protocol.