Taiwan is looking for the most “appropriate” way to express its condolences for the death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and is still in the process of understanding plans for her state funeral, the island’s foreign ministry said on Thursday.
The queen’s funeral will take place in London on Monday, and a host of world leaders, royalty and other dignitaries have already said they will attend.
Britain, like most countries, has no diplomatic ties with Chinese-claimed Taiwan, but the two have close unofficial relations.
Taiwan Foreign Ministry deputy spokesman Tsui Ching-lin told reporters that they and their representative office in Britain were still in the process of “understanding the plans” for the funeral.
We “hope to use the most appropriate way to express the mourning of our government and people to the British royal family and government”, Tsui said, when asked whether a Taiwan government representative would be at the funeral.
Taiwan views Britain as a like-minded democratic partner and has been heartened by support from London over issues like taking part in the World Health Organization, which the island is excluded from due to Chinese pressure.
Taiwan’s government was quick to send its condolences after the queen’s death, with President Tsai Ing-wen tweeting in English that “Taiwan remembers & celebrates her life of leadership & service, which set an example for people around the world”.
Britain’s de facto embassy, formally called the British Office Taipei, has also opened a public condolence book.
Britain is inviting a representative from North Korea to attend the funeral, but Afghanistan, Syria and Venezuela will not be given an invite, a foreign office source said on Wednesday.
Russia, Myanmar and Belarus have also not been asked to attend.