Taiwan's foreign minister thanks India after National Day spat with China

10/10/2020 10:32 PM
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Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (CNA file photo)
Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (CNA file photo)

New Delhi, Oct. 10 (CNA) Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) on Saturday thanked India for its support after the country rebuked the Chinese embassy in New Delhi for attempting to manipulate media coverage of Taiwan's Double Ten National Day.

Earlier in the week, the Chinese embassy sent an email to around 250 Indian journalists asking them not to refer to Taiwan as a "country" or "nation" in their coverage of Taiwan's Oct. 10 National Day events, local media outlets reported.

The incident sparked controversy on social media and prompted a response from India's Ministry of External Affairs, which reiterated that India's media is free and reports on issues as it sees fit.

In a Twitter post on Saturday, Wu wrote: "Hats off to friends from around the world this year, India in particular, for celebrating Taiwan National Day. With your support, Taiwan will definitely be more resilient in meeting challenges, especially those 'get lost' types."

In a separate post, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center (TECC) wrote that it was "deeply grateful to Indian friends for their vibrant support" during the National Day festivities.

"Taiwan looks forward to working closely with India to harness the challenges posed by the (COVID-19) pandemic and to enhance our cooperation on global supply chains," it added.

India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party staff hung 100 posters printed with the Republic of China (Taiwan) flag and the words "Taiwan, Happy National Day October 10" on them on streetlights in front of the Chinese embassy in India. The posters have since been removed.

Speaking to CNA on Saturday, New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University professor Srikanth Kondapalli said the fact that China allegedly tried to conceal the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, which has greatly impacted the livelihoods of Indian people, coupled with the China-India border dispute in Ladakh, the anti-China sentiment in the country has become increasingly intensified.

Namrata Hasija, a research associate with the Centre for China Analysis and Strategy (CCAS) in New Delhi, said this wave of anti-China sentiment has resulted in Indian people becoming more aware of Taiwan, its burgeoning democracy and how the latter is being constantly bullied by China.

In some ways, this could lead to the strengthening of India-Taiwan relations in the future, Hasija said.

Ever since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more media outlets in India have been reporting on the success Taiwan has achieved in combating the pandemic, she said, forecasting that the media spotlight on Taiwan will not die down anytime soon.

(By Charles Kang, Ko Lin and Matthew Mazzetta)


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