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Don't travel on diplomatic passports to Taiwan: MEA tells MPs

Travel on diplomatic passports would have given the impression of normal diplomatic ties between India and Taiwan and could have disturbed China.

The Ministry of External Affairs had to step in to prevent a group of MPs from travelling to Taiwan on diplomatic passports.

In the absence of normal diplomatic ties, the delegation had to negotiate with the MEA while accepting the invitation of Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the August 28-September 1 visit.

“The MEA told them not to travel on diplomatic passports but, on ordinary passports as we don’t have full diplomatic ties with Taiwan,” said a senior official source. Travel on diplomatic passports would have given the impression of normal diplomatic ties between India and Taiwan and could have disturbed China which has a long-standing dispute with Taiwan’s sovereignty.

Advice against travel

Devi Prasad Tripathi, NCP’s Rajya Sabha member and member of the delegation, said the MEA advised against travelling to Taiwan as China was known to be uncomfortable with India’s outreach to Taiwan.

“We felt that given the series of worldwide changes, a visit to Taiwan was in order and we went ahead despite the obvious discomfort of the MEA,” Dr. Tripathi said. The five-member delegation visited Taipei, and met with Vice- President Chen Chien-Jen and a host of business and political leaders. The MEA said it was “incorrect” to describe that it tried to stop the delegation. However, the non-diplomatic official in charge of India-Taipei Association in Taipei, Sridharan Madhusudhanan, held a welcome event for the visiting delegation on August 30.

“The government of Taiwan that came to power on May 20 is pro-India and both are eager to have more parliamentary exchanges,” said P.D. Rai, of Sikkim Democratic Front who was part of the delegation.

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Printable version | May 23, 2020 1:14:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Dont-travel-on-diplomatic-passports-to-Taiwan-MEA-tells-MPs/article14621959.ece

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