Isis 'recognises' Taiwan in move thought to be aimed at annoying China

Hidden in the latest Isis propaganda video, among the flags of 60 nations dubbed the "The Global Coalition Against the Islamic State", are the colours of Taiwan.

A still taken from a recent Isis propaganda video with the flag of Taiwan circled

Taiwan, also known as Chinese Taipei or the Republic of China, is an island off the coast of China which for all intents and purposes has been independent since 1950 - the year after the Communist victory in the mainland's civil war.

However, as the BBC explains, the Beijing government considers Taiwan to be a rebel region that should be reunited - and only 22 other countries have full diplomatic relations with it (including the Vatican).

When the leaders of Taiwan and China shook hands at a historic meeting last month, neither man was referred to as "president" in a sign of the thorny diplomacy between the territories (Picture: Getty)

While Isis has absolutely no claims to legitimacy itself, commentators in Taiwan have joked that its 'recognition' of the island as a state will rile the Chinese government and that it was "one big step closer towards joining the UN," according to the Hong Kong Free Press.

Taiwan's president Ma Ying-jeou urged for calm following the video's release amid fears that the island may become a target for Isis attacks.

Taiwanese media suggested the response from Isis may have been provoked by a speech Barack Obama gave in Kuala Lumpur last week in which he mentioned several partners in its "broad coalition against [Isis]" including Taiwan. As Quartz highlights, Taiwan is currently providing humanitarian assistance to the anti-Isis campaign.

Following the murder of a Chinese captive by Isis last week, the Beijing government, which until that point had not been involved in the fight against the group, vowed "justice".

The Chinese government is yet to comment on the group's 'recognition' of Taiwan.

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