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China opposes India-Taiwan trade ties

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian. File   | Photo Credit: Reuters

China on Tuesday asked India to approach ties with Taiwan “prudently and properly” and said it would “firmly oppose” any official exchanges between New Delhi and Taipei.

Also read: Posters wishing Taiwan taken down after Chinese embassy complaint

The statement from China’s Foreign Ministry came in response to reports that India and Taiwan were considering going forward with talks on a trade deal. India and Taiwan in 2018 already signed a bilateral investment agreement. India-Taiwan trade ties have expanded since and Taiwanese firms are prominent investors in India, although India and Taiwan do not maintain formal diplomatic relations.

“The 'One-China principle’ is a universal consensus of the international community, including India,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a daily briefing, when asked about the report on trade talks.

“It is also the political basis for China to develop ties with other countries. So, we firmly oppose any official exchanges between countries having diplomatic ties with China and Taiwan or signing any official documents. The Indian side should remain committed to the ‘One-China principle’ and approach Taiwan-related issues prudently and properly,” Mr Zhao said.

Earlier this month, the Chinese Embassy in Delhi raised with India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) the putting up of posters in New Delhi on October 10, wishing Taiwan “Happy National Day”, put up by a member of the BJP, including outside the Chinese Embassy. The posters were taken down following the complaint.

The posters, along with a social media campaign on October 10, followed a note sent by the Chinese Embassy to around 250 journalists asking them not to refer to Taiwan as a “country” or a “nation” while covering an event to be organised by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre (TECC) in India.

Also read: China sends fighters towards Taiwan

The MEA responded to the note, saying “there is a free media in India, that reports on issues that they see fit”.

On Tuesday, China reacted guardedly to India’s announcement that Australia will join next month’s Malabar naval exercise with India, Japan and the United States.

In a terse statement, Mr. Zhao said, “We have taken note of this development. We always believe that military cooperation between countries should be conducive to regional peace and stability.”

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said it had lodged a protest with the United States, over a meeting in Washington between Assistant Secretary Robert Destro of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, who has been appointed as a special coordinator for Tibetan issues, with Lobsang Sangay, the head of the “Government-in-Exile” in Dharamsala.

“The appointment of the so-called special coordinator for Tibetan issues is a political move to interfere in China’s internal affairs and sabotage Xizang’s [Tibet’s] stability,” Mr. Zhao said.

“We have lodged stern representations with the U.S. side. The so-called Tibetan government-in-exile is a separatist political organisation chasing a wild dream of Tibetan independence. It violates China’s Constitution and law and it is not recognised by any nation worldwide. Lobsang Sangay as its head is out and out an anti-China separatist. China firmly opposes him engaging in anti-China separatist activities in whatever status and whatever pretext in any country. We firmly oppose officials of other countries having any kind of contact with him. We urge the U.S. side to stop interfering in China’s internal affairs and sabotaging Xizang’s development and stability, and refrain from offering any support to separatist forces. China will take all measures to safeguard its own interests,” the spokesperson said.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 8:19:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/china-warns-india-on-ties-with-taiwan/article32902761.ece

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