Taiwan has lodged protests against mainland China, Belgium and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development after the island was pressured to pull out of an international symposium on the steel industry on Monday in Brussels, a Taiwanese official said. Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry asked the Mainland Affairs Council, the island’s representative office in Belgium and its diplomatic mission in France where the OECD is based, to lodge the protests, the official said. War with China ‘likely’ if Taiwan continues to seek independence, says ex-PLA general “We find it unacceptable,” said Michael Hsu, director general of the Foreign Ministry’s Department of International Organisations, at a press conference on Tuesday. Hsu said Taiwan has been taking part in the OECD steel committee meeting as an observer since 2005 and as a participant since 2013, so it should have been able to attend as scheduled. The OECD also organised with the Belgian authorities a symposium on excess capacity in the steel sector in Brussels on Monday. The Taiwanese delegation attended the morning session, but Beijing pressured the Belgian government to bar its participation in the afternoon session, according to Eleanor Wang, a spokeswoman at the Foreign Ministry. The meetings brought together ministers and other high-level government officials in charge of policies relating to the steel industry, the OECD said on its website. Hsu said the mainland had no right to bar Taiwan from the meetings. “China did not have any problem with our participation in the event last time,” Hsu said. He declined to speculate on whether Beijing’s alleged move was targeted at the Democratic Progressive Party, which won January’s presidential and legislative elections in Taiwan. Beijing appears to be stepping up efforts to put pressure on the independence-leaning party before president-elect Tsai Ing-wen takes office next month. Tsai and her party do not recognise the so-called “1992 consensus” on the “one China” principle, which outgoing President Ma Ying-jeou’s Nationalist Party and the Communist Party of China consider as the political foundation for cross-strait talks. Beijing poached ally in Africa ‘to put pressure on new president Tsai Ing-wen’: Taiwan’s security agency President Xi Jinping has warned, “If the foundation is undermined, the ground will shake”, referring to the “1992 consensus”. Tsai has said her China policy is to “maintain the status quo” across the Taiwan Strait, but many have questioned how she can put it into practice. Taiwan and mainland China have been governed separately since they split after the civil war in 1949. Beijing has since tried to isolate Taiwan, which it regards as a renegade Chinese province awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.