TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — China's foreign ministry on Monday (Oct. 19) blamed Taiwan's "false flag" and a cake patterned with the same offending banner for provoking its "wolf warrior" into assaulting a Taiwanese diplomat.
On Sunday (Oct. 18), news broke that two Chinese diplomats had gatecrashed a National Day reception being held at Grand Pacific Hotel on Oct. 8 by the Taiwan de facto embassy in Suva, Fiji. While trying to force their way into the event, two Chinese "wolf warrior diplomats" allegedly shoved a Taiwanese diplomat, inflicting head trauma that required hospital treatment.
During a regularly scheduled press conference on Monday, an AFP reporter asked Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian (趙立堅) to comment on reports that a Taiwanese diplomat had been injured after being involved in a physical confrontation with Chinese diplomats at a reception hosted by Taiwan in Fiji. In response, Zhao started by denying that Taiwan has diplomats in Fiji, despite the presence of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) personnel at Taiwan's representative office in the capital city of Suva.
Zhao alleged that the report was "completely inconsistent with the facts," without offering a detailed account of his own, and alleged that the Taiwanese were "the thief crying stop thief!" He said China has asked Fiji to conduct an investigation into the incident, and he claimed that Fiji "values China's concerns" and will abide by the "one China" principle in handling the matter.
However, local reports of the incident state that Fijian police declined to investigate the case because the Chinese assailants claimed diplomatic immunity. In addition, Fijian officials have reportedly asked Taiwanese diplomats to "downplay" the assault due to pressure from Beijing.
Zhao alleged that at the Oct. 8 event, a "false flag was publicly displayed at the scene and a cake was also marked with a false flag pattern."
Echoing a statement issued by the Chinese embassy in Fiji on Sunday, Zhao said the function "clearly violates the one-China principle," and he characterized it as an attempt to "create 'two Chinas' or 'one China, one Taiwan' internationally."
Like the embassy, he accused Taipei Trade Office staff of "initiating verbal provocations and physical conflicts" against Chinese diplomats, who he claimed were "carrying out official duties" outside that venue. He did not go into detail about what those duties were.
As was the case with the embassy's account, he tried to reverse the story by claiming that the Taiwanese staff member had inflicted "injuries and damage to one Chinese diplomat" without specifying the type of injury or damage. Zhao added that the Chinese embassy in Fiji has also expressed "serious concerns" to Fiji about the incident and requested that it conduct a thorough investigation and hold Taiwanese personnel accountable to the law.
He closed by saying "We believe that Fiji can handle this matter fairly and properly." However, Fiji Police Headquarters has stated that the matter will be handled at the diplomatic level and that it does not wish to issue any further comments, reported RTI.