By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, Oct. 12: The Chinese embassy in an open letter urged Indian journalists to respect the “One-China” policy after leading newspapers featured advertisements issued by the government of Taiwan on Wednesday ahead of Taiwan’s National Day on Oct. 10. India’s External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava on Thursday said that “there is a free media in India that reports on issues as it sees fit.”
The Chinese embassy in a letter to Indian journalists earlier said that China hoped that Indian media can stick to Indian government’s position on Taiwan question and not violate the government’s One-China principle.
“All countries that have diplomatic relations with China should firmly honour their commitment to the One-China policy, which is also the long-standing official position of the Indian government,” the statement further read. It demanded that Indian media should not refer to Taiwan as a “country (nation)” or the leader of Taiwan as the “President” so as not to “send the wrong signals to the general public”.
The Chinese embassy spokesperson Ji Rong reiterated Beijing’s position on the issue of Taiwan independence in a tweet, “There is only one China in the world. Taiwan is [an] inalienable part of China’s territory. One-China policy is int’l universal consensus & long-standing position of Indian govt, which China appreciates.”
The Taiwanese government responded to the embassy’s letter in a tweet signed by Foreign Minister Joseph Wu that said India is the largest democracy and will not tolerate censorship imposed by China, “Taiwan’s Indian friends will have one reply: Get Lost!”
Though India has not changed its policy towards Taiwan, it has stopped deliberating on Taiwan in joint statements with Beijing leadership amid the border conflict between the two Asian giants. New Delhi set up India-Taipei Association (ITA) in Taipei in 1995 to strengthen interactions between the two sides and to promote business, tourism and cultural exchanges.