Fiji given evidence of Chinese diplomats' assault: Taiwan foreign minister

10/20/2020 04:49 PM
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Image courtesy of Taipei Trade Office in Fiji: https://www.roc-taiwan.org/fj/
Image courtesy of Taipei Trade Office in Fiji: https://www.roc-taiwan.org/fj/

Taipei, Oct. 20 (CNA) Evidence relating to an incident in which Chinese diplomats allegedly assaulted a staff member of a Taiwan office in Fiji has been submitted to that country's authorities, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said Tuesday.

"The evidence was given to Fiji's foreign ministry and police department. We hope to seek justice for our diplomatic personnel," Wu told reporters at a press briefing, but he declined to specify what evidence.

Wu's deputy Harry Tseng (曾厚仁) on Monday confirmed foreign news reports that a staff member of the Taipei Trade Office in Fiji was beaten up by two Chinese diplomats on Oct. 8 outside a reception celebrating the National Day of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

According to the reports, the Chinese diplomats arrived uninvited. Physical altercations broke out when the Taiwanese approached the diplomats and requested that they leave, the reports said.

In a statement issued Monday, the Chinese embassy in Fiji accused the Taiwanese of provocation and said the reception was a violation of the "One-China Principle."

China sees Taiwan as part of its territory and opposes any activities that could be seen as elevating Taiwan's status to that of an independent nation.

Responding to the Chinese embassy's statement, Wu said Taiwan is a sovereign state, and its missions all over the world have been holding National Day receptions for years, just like the representative offices of many other countries.

"The Chinese government's attempts to disrupt our National Day reception should be condemned, no matter what excuse it makes," Wu told reporters before attending a legislative session.

He said China should "seriously reflect upon itself," as its aggressive "Wolf Warrior" diplomacy has created a negative impression all over the world.

"We want to tell the Chinese government that bullying Taiwan will not make China great," Wu said.

The staff at the Taiwan mission in Fiji will not back down from their duties, which include defending Taiwan's dignity and national interests, despite difficulties, he said.

Also on Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) said the Taiwan Trade Office has reported the incident to the Fiji police and is preparing to submit more evidence and a formal complaint. Taiwan is also considering the possibility of bringing a lawsuit against the Chinese diplomats, she said.

Fiji, which established diplomatic relations with China in 1975, considers the case a "diplomatic incident," according to Ou.

Meanwhile, the Presidential Office said Tuesday that the assault by the Chinese diplomats must be condemned "in the strongest possible terms."

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said violence should not be tolerated, and she expressed support for MOFA's efforts to defend the rights of the injured Taiwanese staff member and Taiwan's national interest, according to Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵).

Also, at a press briefing Tuesday outside the Legislature, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) denounced the Chinese diplomats' behavior as "rascal-like" and said Taiwan will release the evidence to the international community.

(By Fan Cheng-hsiang, Wang Yang-yu and Emerson Lim)

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