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'Modi ji won't be intimidated': Taiwan on China's protests towards PM Modi's message to its President

PM Modi responded to a congratulatory message from Taiwan President Lai Ching-te on his election victory and said he looked forward to enhancing India-Taiwan partnership. China, which considers Taiwan as part of its territory, did not take kindly to this message of friendship.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee New Delhi Updated on: June 18, 2024 17:02 IST
PM Modi and Taiwan president Lai Ching-te
Image Source : REUTERS Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Taiwan President Lai Ching-te.

New Delhi: After a row erupted following China's protests towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi's response to a congratulatory message by Taiwan President Lai Ching-te, Taipei has asserted that neither PM Modi nor Lai would be intimidated by Beijing. Taiwan had vigorously defended the 'cordial exchange' between its President and PM Modi after China protested over the latter's response.

"...The new president, Lai Ching-te, congratulated Modi ji for becoming the Prime Minister for the third time. I think Modi ji also used that platform (X) to respond. This is a very common thing to congratulate each other. Why do other people have something to say about it? I don't understand. This is a very unreasonable interference between two leaders congratulating each other," said Deputy Foreign Minister of Taiwan, Tien Chung-kwang.

Without naming anyone, Tien says that 'some regime' does whatever they think is right. "If you check all the bbig survey companies, then you know the image of that country is plummeting rapidly by 50 per cent... I am sure that Modi ji and our President will not be intimidated by that reaction," he added. 

What is the row about?

The turmoil began after PM Modi responded to a congratulatory message from Taiwan President Lai Ching-te on his election victory. "My sincere congratulations to Prime Minister @narendramodi on his election victory. We look forward to enhancing the fast-growing Taiwan-India partnership, expanding our collaboration on trade, technology & other sectors to contribute to peace & prosperity in the Indo-Pacific," said Lai earlier this month.

In response, PM Modi said, "Thank you @ChingteLai for your warm message. I look forward to closer ties as we work towards mutually beneficial economic and technological partnership."

Irked over the Indian leader's comment, China protested over PM Modi's comment that he looked forward to having closer ties with Taiwan, and insisted that New Delhi should resist Taiwan authorities' "political calculations". China views Taiwan as a rebel province that must be reunified with the mainland, even by force.

“First of all, there is no such thing as ‘president’ of the Taiwan region... China opposes all forms of official interactions between the Taiwan authorities and countries having diplomatic relations with China,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told a media briefing here when asked by a Western media correspondent for her reaction to the wording in PM Modi’s message.

Mao further said that India has made "serious political commitments on this and is supposed to recognise, be alarmed about and resist the Taiwan authorities' political calculations. China has protested to India about this." She also asserted that India has diplomatic relations with China and should refrain from doing things that violate the one-China principle.

"China’s outrage at a cordial exchange between the leaders of 2 democracies is utterly unjustified. Threats & intimidation never foster friendships. Taiwan remains dedicated to building partnerships with India underpinned by mutual benefit & shared values," the Taiwan Foreign Ministry said on X after China's reaction. The US State Department also said such congratulatory messages are part of diplomatic business. 

(with inputs from ANI)

ALSO READ | Former Chinese navy captain arrested in Taiwan for illegal entry by speedboat

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