China protests PM Modi's response to Taiwan President’s greetings

Published - June 07, 2024 04:47 am IST - Beijing

Taiwan President Lai Ching-te. File photo

Taiwan President Lai Ching-te. File photo | Photo Credit: AP

China on Thursday, June 6 protested over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's comment that he looked forward to having closer ties with Taiwan and insisted that New Delhi should resist the Taiwan authorities' “political calculations.” China views Taiwan as a rebel province that must be reunified with the mainland, even by force.

“First of all, there is no such thing as ‘president’ of the Taiwan region,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told a media briefing here when asked by a Western media correspondent for her reaction to the wording of Modi’s message.

“As for your question, China opposes all forms of official interactions between the Taiwan authorities and countries having diplomatic relations with China. There is but one China in the world. Taiwan is an inalienable part of the territory of the People’s Republic of China,” she said.

“The one-China principle is a universally recognised norm in international relations and a prevailing consensus in the international community,” Mr. Mao said. “India has made serious political commitments on this and is supposed to recognise, be alarmed about and resist the Taiwan authorities’ political calculations. China has protested to India about this.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Mr. Modi’s remarks came in response to a congratulatory message from Taiwan President Lai Ching-te on his election victory.

Resist overtures

Lai, elected as Taiwan's President last month, in a message posted on X said: “My sincere congratulations to Prime Minister @narendramodi on his election victory. We look forward to enhancing the fast-growing #Taiwan-#India partnership, expanding our collaboration on trade, technology & other sectors to contribute to peace & prosperity in the #IndoPacific.”

In his reply posted on X, Mr. Modi said: “Thank you @ChingteLai for your warm message. I look forward to closer ties as we work towards mutually beneficial economic and technological partnership.”

Responding to another question, Mr. Mao said India “has diplomatic relations with China. China opposes all forms of official interactions between the Taiwan authorities and countries having diplomatic relations with China. This position is very clear, and India knows this well.” "On the one-China principle, India has made serious political commitments and is supposed to recognise, be alarmed about and resist the Taiwan authorities’ political calculations, and refrain from doing things that violate the one-China principle," Mao reiterated.

Taiwan President Lai, in his inaugural address on May 20, had called on Beijing to cease its intimidation of the self-ruled island after his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which has championed democracy in the face of years of growing threats from China, won.

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