The Hong Kong government's Economic, Trade and Cultural Office (Taiwan) in Taipei will close with immediate effect in a decision likely pushed by mainland China authorities.
"During the temporary suspension of operations, the government will continue to handle general enquiries and requests for assistance made by Hong Kong residents in Taiwan," a statement released on social media Tuesday said.
The decision was made by the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau, a Hong Kong agency responsible for the implementation of the Basic Law, people with knowledge of the matter told the South China Morning Post.
Two months ago the general manager of Hong Kong's Trade Development Council office in Taipei, Stella Poon, submitted her resignation.
The office, located in the self-governed island's capital city, was opened in 2011 to promote business between Hong Kong and Taiwan.
But relations between the two soured after Hong Kong resident Chan Tong-kai murdered his girlfriend on a trip to Taiwan. The city refused to extradite Chan to stand trial in Taipei, ultimately leading to the anti-extradition bill protests that rocked Hong Kong in 2019.
More recently, Hong Kong authorities have come under fire from Taiwan officials for allegedly refusing to renew work visas for city representatives stationed in the country. Eight employees at Taiwan's de facto embassy in Hong Kong will be unable to stay past the end of 2021, the country's Mainland Affairs Council revealed.
Ties between Taiwan and Hong Kong were at their strongest a decade ago under the leadership of former Taiwanese president and Kuomintang leader Ma Ying-jeou, at which time the Hong Kong office in Taipei and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Hong Kong opened.