Taiwan hits back against Beijing for urging Indian media to respect ‘One-China’ policy

A Chinese soldier (L) and an Indian soldier (R) stand guard at the Chinese side of the ancient Nathu La border crossing between India and China. Photo: AFP/Diptendu Dutta. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

TAIPEI, Oct 8, 2020, HKFP. Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu has slammed a letter issued by the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi to the Indian media, which warned against violating Beijing’s ‘One-China’ policy, HKFP reported.

Addressing Taiwan’s upcoming 109th National Day, the embassy on Wednesday called on Indian media to refrain from referring to the island as a country, nation or the “Republic of China.” It further insisted that Taiwan’s leader Tsai Ing-wen should not be referred to as its president.

“The Chinese Embassy in India would like to remind our media friends what there is only one China in the world, and the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legitimate government representing the whole of China,” the letter read, adding that Taiwan is an “inalienable part” of China.

“We hope Indian media can stick to [the] Indian government’s position on Taiwan question and do not violate the One-China principle.”

Indian media organisations, including WION news, have reported on the upcoming national day, with news publications The Statesman and the Indian Express running adverts on Wednesday for the “Double Tenth Day” celebrations.

In a statement on Twitter, Wu hit back against the embassy’s message, saying Beijing was attempting to “impose censorship” on the “largest democracy on Earth.”

The minister ended his statement with a strongly-worded message to Beijing: “Taiwan’s Indian friends will have one reply: GET LOST!”

The letter was issued three days before Taiwan’s National Day – known as Double Ten Day – on Saturday, which commemorates the beginning of the uprising leading to the overthrow of the Qing dynasty and the beginning of the Republic of China in 1912.

Taiwan has been ruled by the Republic of China government since 1945 after Japan — which occupied the island for 50 years — was defeated in the Second World War. The People’s Republic of China claims that Taiwan is one of its provinces and does not recognise it as an independent country.

Escalating tensions

The Chinese Embassy’s message came amid rising tensions between New Delhi and Beijing.

Around 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a conflict in mid-June between the Chinese and Indian forces during an ongoing border dispute in the Ladakh region near Tibet, according to Indian media reports.

Early last month, Beijing accused India of firing shots at People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers while India alleged that PLA forces fired bullets into the air along the disputed border.

India has also banned 59 Chinese apps in its territory, including Tiktok and Wechat, citing potential threats to national security.

Separately, Beijing has become increasingly hostile towards Washington, as the Trump administration continues to seek closer ties with Taipei.

Last Wednesday, the US ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft called for Taiwan’s “full participation” in the UN, saying that “a United Nations without Taiwan’s full participation is cheating the world.”

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