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Taiwan slams China’s protest on Modi-Lai exchange

The Taiwanese Foreign Ministry’s comments came a day after China expressed strong disapproval of the exchange, asserting its opposition to any official interactions between Taiwan and countries maintaining diplomatic relations with Beijing.

News Arena Network - Taipei City - UPDATED: June 7, 2024, 07:16 AM - 3 mins read

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L), Taiwanese President Lai Ching-te (R).

Taiwan slams China’s protest on Modi-Lai exchange

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L), Taiwanese President Lai Ching-te (R).


Taiwan on Friday firmly dismissed China’s protest over a “cordial” exchange of messages between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Taiwanese President Lai Ching-te, describing Beijing’s reaction as “utterly unjustified.”

 

The Taiwanese Foreign Ministry’s comments came a day after China expressed strong disapproval of the exchange, asserting its opposition to any official interactions between Taiwan and countries maintaining diplomatic relations with Beijing.

 

"#China's outrage at a cordial exchange between the leaders of 2 democracies is utterly unjustified. Threats & intimidation never foster friendships," the Taiwanese foreign ministry posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

 

"#Taiwan remains dedicated to building partnerships with #India underpinned by mutual benefit & shared values," the ministry added.

 

On Wednesday, President Lai extended his congratulations to Prime Minister Modi on the National Democratic Alliance's victory in the Lok Sabha polls, expressing Taiwan’s eagerness to strengthen the “fast-growing” ties between the two sides.

 

"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," Lai said on X.

 

In response, Modi thanked Lai for his warm message, stating, "Thank you @ChingteLai for your warm message. I look forward to closer ties as we work towards mutually beneficial economic and technological partnership."

 

At a media briefing in Beijing on Thursday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning addressed the issue, stating China’s firm opposition to the exchange. Mao reiterated China’s stance that Taiwan is a breakaway province and must be unified with the mainland, by force if necessary. She emphasised that there is “no such thing as ‘President’ of the Taiwan region.”

 

"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," Mao said.

 

"The one-China principle is a universally recognised norm in international relations and a prevailing consensus in the international community," she added.

 

Mao further asserted that India has made serious political commitments regarding the one-China principle and should recognise and resist the political calculations of the Taiwan authorities. She noted that China had protested to India about the exchange.

 

Trade and economic relations between India and Taiwan have been steadily expanding in recent years, despite the lack of formal diplomatic ties. In February, India and Taiwan signed a migration and mobility agreement aimed at facilitating the employment of Indian workers in various sectors in Taiwan, reflecting renewed momentum in bilateral cooperation.

 

In 1995, India established the India-Taipei Association (ITA) in Taipei to promote interactions between the two sides and facilitate business, tourism, and cultural exchanges.

 

The ITA is also authorised to provide consular and passport services. In the same year, Taiwan set up the Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre in Delhi, further enhancing the collaborative framework between the two entities.

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