Chinese and Taiwanese officials clash in Fiji
As a junior diplomat posted to Fiji in the 1990s, Chen Yonglin and the rest of his embassy colleagues fixated on the most sensitive issue in all of Chinese diplomacy: Taiwan.
He tracked Taiwan’s pharmaceutical and agricultural aid to the remote Pacific archipelago. He monitored Taiwanese officials’ interactions with the local Chinese community. He tried to dissuade Fijian officials from attending Taiwan’s National Day celebration every October and local hotel managers from hosting it. When that failed, he sat in a coffee shop across the street to observe — discreetly — who attended.
“At most, a braver colleague would wander over and peek inside,” said Chen, who was a third secretary in Fiji from 1994 to 1998 and defected in 2005 while serving in Sydney. “But gate-crash? Never. That was a different time.” The difference was laid bare this week after Fiji media reported that Chinese officials barged into the annual Taiwanese celebration, sparking a physical scuffle that left a Taiwanese official hospitalized.
The basic contours of the incident were not refuted by either government and it was the latest aggressive turn by Chinese diplomats, who are quickly shedding their traditional image as one of China’s more polished, less muscular, arms of government.
The behavior of the Chinese diplomats underscores the political pressure inside the bureaucracy to publicly defend China’s position on international issues, particularly over Hong Kong and Taiwan. China’s Communist Party never conquered Taiwan after gaining power in China in 1949 but claims it as part of an “inviolable one China” that must be reunified.
Chinese officials have also accused the West of supporting violent separatism in the southern city of Hong Kong, where most protesters have called for Beijing to live up to its promise of granting it some political autonomy and a small minority seek outright independence.
On Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian accused Taiwan of displaying its flag at the Oct. 8 party in Suva, the Fiji capital, and serving a cake in the shape of the red-and-blue flag.
Chinese officials who were carrying out “official duties” and arrived at the public area of the party found the celebration “attempted to create ‘two Chinas’ or ‘one China, one Taiwan,’ ” Zhao said. One of the Chinese officials were injured after they were first provoked by the Taiwanese, he added, while demanding a local police investigation
Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu condemned China’s “uncivilized wolf warriors,” a term used in China and abroad referring to the new breed of more muscular Chinese diplomacy. “As a sovereign state, we’ll celebrate Taiwan National Day everywhere, every year.”
On Tuesday, Fiji officials said Chinese and Taiwanese embassy officials had settled the dispute amicably and the police would drop the matter.
Still, the short-lived incident reaffirmed a noticeable shift in recent years as China has grown in strength, while its leader, Xi Jinping, has urged several branches of government, including its diplomats and state media workers, to “tell China’s story well” and be more confident in defending China’s image overseas
Why Taiwan National Day trending in India?
Taiwan celebrates its National Day on October 10, the day is also more commonly known as “double tenth day”. It commemorates the start of the 1911 Wuchang uprising in China. It is a day when Taiwanese people both at home and abroad celebrate.
New Delhi: Taiwan celebrates its National Day on October 10, the day is also more commonly known as “double tenth day”. It commemorates the start of the 1911 Wuchang Uprising in China. It is a day when Taiwanese people both at home and abroad celebrate.In India, the National Taiwan Day 2020 has become one of the top trends with several Indian citizens, top journalists and politicians wishing the Island nation on the historic day.
Here’s what people are tweeting:
BJP’s National Secretary Y Satya Kumar wrote: “Greetings to my Taiwanese brothers and sisters on #TaiwanNationalDay. India stands in solidarity with the courage, strength and resolve that you people have displayed in your struggle against colonialism and oppression by the imperial power!
Journalist and executive editor of WION Palki Sharma Upadhyay wrote: “Taiwan President extends an olive branch. Says will work towards dialogue if Beijing is “willing to resolve antagonisms while parity & dignity are maintained.” Meanwhile, #TaiwanNationalDay is the top trend in India! Congratulations @MOFA_Taiwan @TWIndia2″
Meanwhile, ahead of Taiwan’s national day on October 10, the Chinese mission in Delhi had written to Indian media and called upon them to not refer to Taiwan as a “nation”.
Taiwan’s foreign minister Joseph Wu asked the Chinese mission to “get lost” after the latter asked Indian media to follow “One China” policy”. A tweet by Taiwanese Foreign Ministry, said, “India is the largest democracy on earth with a vibrant press and freedom-loving people. But it looks like communist China hoping to march into the subcontinent by imposing censorship.”
“Taiwan’s Indian friends will have one reply: GET LOST! JW”. The tweet was undersigned with initials–JW or Joseph Wu, the foreign minister of Taiwan.
Source: Zee News dated Oct 10, 2020