Taiwan protests exclusion from UN fisheries conference

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Taiwan has protested its exclusion from a United Nations conference on the global fishing industry, allegedly at the behest of chief rival China.

The official Central News Agency says the Foreign Ministry delivered a letter to the Food and Agricultural Organization protesting against what it called "discriminatory treatment" against two Taiwanese representatives who were barred from the organization's Committee on Fisheries meeting being held in Italy this week.

It said China, which claims sovereignty over Taiwan, was behind their rejection.

Taiwanese representatives had participated in the biennial conference since 2003 as experts or members of non-governmental organizations.

China has been seen as tightening the diplomatic screws on Taiwan as a way of pressuring the island's new independence-leaning president.