TAIPEI, TAIWAN - Taiwan has decided to cancel its participation in a top film festival in Shanghai, Taipei officials said Friday, citing fears that the island would be treated as a part of China.
As a result, eight films have been pulled from the Shanghai International Film Festival, which opens Saturday, the officials said.
The decision comes after organisers at the just-concluded Shanghai television festival handed awards to two Taiwan-produced films but described them as being from "China, Taiwan," triggering a Taiwanese protest.
China considers Taiwan part of its territory even though the island has ruled itself since the end of a civil war in 1949. Beijing wants reunification and has not ruled out war to bring this about.
"We feared the same thing would happen in the film festival," Hsieh Hsiao-yun, head of the Taipei city government's Department of Cultural Affairs, told AFP.
Ties between Taiwan and China have improved markedly since President Ma Ying-jeou of the Beijing-friendly Kuomintang came to power in 2008, pledging to boost trade links and allowing in more Chinese tourists. --AFP