India dismisses China's directives to Indian media on coverage of Taiwan's national day2 min read . Updated: 08 Oct 2020, 08:21 PM IST
The remark was in response to the Chinese embassy in New Delhi advising Indian journalists on covering the national day of Taiwan
NEW DELHI: India on Thursday dismissed China’s directives to Indian media on coverage of Taiwan’s national day over the weekend, saying the country had a “free media" that reported on issues as it saw fit.
The remark was in response to the Chinese embassy in New Delhi advising Indian journalists on covering the national day of Taiwan, saying all countries having diplomatic ties with Beijing should “firmly honour" the One-China policy.
The Indian dismissal of China’s directives to the Indian press came a day after Taiwan’s foreign minister Joseph Wu in a Twitter post on Wednesday slammed the Chinese move.
“#India is the largest democracy on Earth with a vibrant press & freedom-loving people. But it looks like communist #China is hoping to march into the subcontinent by imposing censorship. #Taiwan's Indian friends will have one reply: GET LOST! JW," the post said.
The “do and don’ts"to be observed while covering Taiwan’s national day were emailed to Indian journalists on Wednesday by the Chinese embassy in New Delhi. In it, the embassy referred to the “so-called forthcoming ‘National Day of Taiwan’" and said it “would like to remind" the Indian press that “there is only one China in the world, and the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legitimate government representing the whole of China."
“Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory...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 email had said. China considers Taiwan a breakaway province. Only about two dozen countries have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
In particular, Taiwan shall not be referred to as a ‘country (nation)’ or ‘Republic of China’ or the leader of China’s Taiwan region as ‘President’, so as not to send the wrong signals to the general public," the Chinese email said.
The embassy said it “appreciates the good faith and efforts by friends from the media", and was “willing to maintain communication with media friends on China-related reports."
That there was only one China was reiterated by the Chinese embassy spokesperson in a post on Thursday. “The Responding DPP authority: There is only one #China in the world.#Taiwan is inalienable part of China's territory. One-China policy is int'l universal consensus & long-standing position of #Indian govt,which China appreciates. It's wishful thinking to seek any "Taiwan independence"" the post by embassy spokeswoman Ji Rong said.
Taiwan’s national day is on 10 October.
India and Taiwan established representative trade offices in New Delhi and Taipei in the 1990s but they do not have formal diplomatic relations. Taiwan has set up the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in New Delhi. On its part, India has the India-Taipei Association in Taipei to boost business, tourism, and people-to-people ties.
The controversy stoked by the Chinese embassy email comes at a time of major friction between China and India along their common border in Ladakh. Against this backdrop, analysts have called a review of India’s “One China policy" with some arguing for an upgradation of ties with Taipei.