Media in India calls Taiwan a country, Chinese Embassy throws tantrum

Statement decries so-called 'false reporting,' begs Indian press not to promote 'Taiwan independence forces'

Indian student wears mask of Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Chennai, India, Oct. 10 (AP photo)

Indian student wears mask of Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Chennai, India, Oct. 10 (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Chinese Embassy in India lashed out in a statement criticizing Indian media outlets for recognizing Taiwan as a sovereign nation and an autonomous state.

On Oct. 24, Chinese Embassy Counselor Ji Rong (嵇蓉) expressed “strong dissatisfaction” that Indian media outlets have recognized Taiwan as a “country” in various news reports on Taiwan. Ji characterized such articles as “false reports” and decried the “wrong practices” of some media organizations.

The counselor expressed “resolute opposition” to the reality that Taiwan is not a part of communist China, and suggested that the media outlets, which are exercising their freedom of speech to inform their readers, are somehow challenging a “red line” put forth by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

“These reports openly advocated ‘two Chinas’ and ‘one China, one Taiwan,’ seriously challenged the red line of the One-China principle, for which the Chinese Embassy expressed its strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition.”

The Chinese official was also apparently upset that the representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in India had been referred to as an “ambassador.” The statement was reported by Outlook India, and published on the embassy’s website.

The embassy's statement may be an indication that Beijing is fearful the world is slowly recognizing that the so-called “One China principle” is out of step with the reality of Taiwan’s existence. The large economy of India and the country’s growing political influence on the world stage could seriously undermine China’s ambitions towards Taiwan if Indian citizens reach a consensus that Taiwan is a de facto independent state and a trustworthy diplomatic partner.

The statement of consternation from the Chinese Embassy ended with a pleading note to media outlets in India, begging them not to provide a platform for Taiwan independence forces. As is typical of the CCP, the message also included an attempt to intimidate the Indian press by demanding “a right stance on issues concerning China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.”