Stating that “there is a free media in India that reports on issues as it sees fit”, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday administered a veiled snub to China after the Chinese Embassy issued a “letter” publicly earlier on Wednesday asking the Indian media to adhere to the One-China policy of the Indian Government on the Taiwan issue.
The latest controversy arose ahead of Taiwan’s “National Day” celebrations on October 10. The terse comment by the MEA spokesperson in New Delhi came in response to media queries for a reaction on the Chinese Embassy’s “letter”.
India, like most nations in the world, follows the “One-China Policy” and does not recognise Taiwan—an island territory off the coast of the Chinese mainland---as a sovereign nation. China has always considered Taiwan as a part of its territory and as a renegade province although Beijing has never exercised physical jurisdiction over Taiwan since 1949. In that year, the then (Chinese nationalist) Kuomintang (KMT) chief Gen. Chiang Kai-Shek had retreated to the island of Taiwan off the coast of mainland China after losing the civil war to Chairman Mao Tse-Tung’s Communists. Taiwan somehow managed to survive as a de-facto separate entity due to the United States which has extended enormous support to it through more than seven decades.
On Thursday, the Chinese Embassy stated, “There is only one China in the world. Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. One-China policy is an international universal consensus and long-standing position of the Indian Government which China appreciates. It’s wishful thinking to seek any ‘Taiwan independence’.”
Earlier on Wednesday, the Chinese Embassy in its “letter” had stated, “Regarding the so-called forthcoming ‘National Day of Taiwan’, the Chinese Embassy in India would like to remind our media friends 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. … We hope the Indian media can stick to Indian government's position on Taiwan question and do not violate the One-China principle.”