China lodges strong protest over BJP MPs’ virtual attendance at Taiwan event
he Chinese Embassy in New Delhi lodged a strong protest with two Indian Members of Parliament over their virtual attendance of Taiwan’s re-elected President Tsai's swearing-in ceremony celebrations.
BJP MPs Meenakshi Lekhi and Rahul Kaswan had sent video messages to the President, which were reportedly played out during the ceremony.
In attendance were about 92 dignitaries from 41 countries, including US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo.
While India was not represented officially, Beijing was unhappy about even an official attendance.
Liu Bing- counsellor (parliament) Chinese embassy in New Delhi, is said to have written an email specifically saying that even congratulatory message by such elected representatives was “utterly wrong”.
In his complaint, the Chinese diplomat asserted, “The one-China principle, enshrined by the UN charter and its relevant resolutions, is a generally recognised norm in international relations and a general consensus of the international community.”
Adding, “Indian governments have pledged to adhere to one-China principle since bilateral ties were established 70 years ago.”
Speaking to India Today, sources close to Rahul Kaswan, said he had not attended any such event through a video conference. Justifying the video message that was sent, he said since New Delhi and Taipei have good relations and trade ties, the MP deemed it fit to send a video message.
He also added that they were not aware of it being played at the ceremony. Further, the sources said if there is any official reaction that is required to the protest by China, then Ministry of External Affairs will respond.
Liu Bing, in his message, also said that any “wrong signals”, including congratulatory messages, “will encourage those separatists to go even further on the wrong and dangerous track, which would undermine peace and prosperity of the region”
Asking the MPs through his letter to support the cause for a united China, the diplomat wrote, “Refrain from such acts instead support China’s great cause of unification.”
As the world goes virtual due to coronavirus pandemic, there certainly will be some amendments to travel abroad rules for elected representatives, incorporating attending foreign events via video conference.
India Today is yet to get a response from the MEA on whether a clearance is needed to send video messages to Taipei.