India has, time and again, reaffirmed its commitment to Beijing’s One-China policy, which calls on other countries to respect that there is only one sovereign Chinese state. New Delhi, like many other major powers, doesn’t have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Beijing considers the self-governed island of Taiwan a rightful part of China.
The Chinese Embassy in New Delhi has slammed federal parliamentarian Sujeet Kumar for participating in a meeting of the newly formed “Formosa Club”, a Taiwan-based grouping aimed at enhancing friendship among Indo-Pacific countries.
“Your attendance is utterly contrary to the one-China principle to which the Indian government has pledged to adhere, and hence must be corrected”, the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi said in a letter to Kumar, an MP from the Odisha-based party Biju Janata Dal (BJD).
“The one-China principle, enshrined by the UN Charter and its relevant resolutions, is a generally recognised norm in international relations and a general consensus of the international community”, reminded the communication from the embassy’s political counselor Lu Bing.
“I strongly urge you to withdraw from the so called Formosa Club immediately, and avoid doing new harm to the critical relations between China and India, so that the two peoples can help and benefit from each other”, stated the Chinese official.
The Formosa Club is said to be backed by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).
In his remarks at the opening ceremony of the Formosa Club, Sujeet Kumar expressed his gratitude to Taiwan for “standing by India” in fighting the second COVID surge, in reference to Taipei’s aid consignment comprised of oxygen cylinders and concentrators delivered earlier this month.
“Taiwan is a proud democracy”, the Indian parliamentarian said at one point during his virtual address.
Since the eruption of the Ladakh border standoff last year, there has been an upswell of Indian public and press opinion backing the independence of Taiwan and Tibet, both integral parts of China.
A series of commentaries in the Indian media last year, advocating the participation of Taiwan in international institutions, triggered a harsh reaction from the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi, which reminded the Indian publishers as well as audiences that New Delhi abides by the One-China policy.
“There is a free media in India that reports on issues as it sees fit”, India’s Foreign Ministry said in response to Beijing’s criticism.