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Indian political experts back Taiwan-India exchanges amid China criticism

06/09/2024 05:32 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

New Delhi, June 9 (CNA) Politicians and academics in India have taken to social media platform X to support Taiwan's relationship with India, after Beijing issued a strong worded public statement against exchanges between President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the platform.

Following the Indian prime minister's successful re-election for a third term, which officially began on Sunday, Lai took to X (formerly Twitter) on June 5 to congratulate Modi.

"My sincere congratulations to Prime Minister (@narendramodi) on his election victory," Lai wrote. "We look forward to enhancing the fast-growing Taiwan-India partnership, expanding our collaboration on trade, technology and other sectors to contribute to peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific."

In response, Modi took to X the same day to acknowledge Lai, writing: "Thank you (@ChingteLai) for your warm message. I look forward to closer ties as we work towards mutually beneficial economic and technological partnership."

The exchanges between the two leaders and their mutual tagging on the social media platform prompted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning (毛寧) to protest the reciprocal acknowledgement during a daily media briefing on June 6.

Mao said: "India has made a serious political commitment toward the 'One China Policy.' (India) is supposed to resist Taiwan's political ploys. Because of this, China has requested negotiations with India."

While India's Ministry of External Affairs has yet to respond to Beijing's statement, Indian scholars and politicians took to X to express support over Taiwan and India's relationship while criticizing China.

Member of Parliament Sujeet Kumar took to X on Saturday to write: "Instead of playing territorial chess with sovereign regions, China should focus on respecting international norms. Taiwan has its own identity. It's time for Beijing to retire its bully tactics and embrace diplomacy over domination."

Kumar went on to thank Lai for his message to Modi, adding that he completely supports stronger ties between the two "vibrant democracies."

On X on June 6, Brahma Chellaney from India's Centre for Policy Research said that following China's quick protest following Lai's message, India has concerns over Taiwan's status, adding that "'closer ties' should extend beyond the economic realm."

"China does not recognize Kashmir as part of India," Jawaharlal Nehru University Professor Anand Ranganathan wrote on X on June 7. "China has usurped 38,000 square kilometers of Kashmir. China supports Pakistan on Kashmir. Despite this, India refuses to have diplomatic relations with Taiwan. India does not even recognize Taiwan as a country. Time has come to correct this."

Moreover, Indian news agencies such as Press Trust of India (PTI), World Is One News (WION), Hindustan Times and Indian Express all reported on Beijing's attitude to Lai and Modi interacting on the social media platform.

Meanwhile, India's Asian News International (ANI) reported on the X response of Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on June 7 over China's reaction.

MOFA said Beijing's demeanor to a "cordial exchange" between leaders of two democracies was unjustified, adding that threats and intimidation are never ways to fostering friendships.

Taiwan is committed to building partnerships with India, MOFA also wrote, "underpinned by mutual benefit and shared values."

(By Emerson Lim and James Lo)

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