Indian media should not make eye-catching sensational reports on Taiwan question, and if Indian government challenges China’s bottom line it will result in a tit-for-tat response from China, Chinese experts warned, after the Chinese Embassy in India condemned Indian media for seriously violating the One-China principle and provoking China’s bottom line in a wrong editorial on Taiwan island.
The embassy urged the media to take a correct stance and avoid sending wrong messages to the public, a spokesperson of the embassy said in a statement on Monday. It expressed strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition to the “erroneous remarks” of the media in question.
The embassy did not directly mention the name of the Indian media, but the Global Times found that the Times of India recently published an editorial titled “New Delhi-Taipei cooperation is both mutually beneficial and a pointed signal to China” challenging China’s red line on Taiwan island.
Indian media and think tanks have been constantly egging the government on to “break the bottom line” due to various factors, but experts believe that the Indian government is still sober and cautious, and knows where the “red line” lies, and that China also has “cards” that can be played in a tit-for-tat exchange.
Long Xingchun, president of the Chengdu Institute of World Affairs, told the Global Times on Tuesday that Indian media is only fooling itself and attempting to attract attention in inciting the Indian government to play cards over the Taiwan question.
Playing the “Taiwan card” has always existed in India’s policy toward China, and such a tone will quickly rise to the surface when there are twists and turns in China-India relations or there is a demand for the Indian government to cooperate with the US to contain China, experts said.
The Indian government clearly understands crossing China’s bottom line will bring harm to bilateral relations, and India won’t get any payoff from it, thus India will not make major moves on Taiwan question, but some small actions that beef up communications with Taiwan cannot be ruled out, Long noted.
In its editorial, the newspaper claimed that “India shouldn’t be overly concerned about China’s political claims on Taiwan” and advocated that “cooperation with Taipei makes strategic sense for New Delhi” when Beijing clearly doesn’t respect “One India.”
It even incited India to collaborate with Taiwan island in several fields from smart cities and farm tech to semiconductors, renewable energy and Mandarin learning. “Taiwan Education Centres can easily substitute for China’s problematic Confucius Institutes,” it said.
The “One India” concept was first publicly proposed by the then Indian foreign minister Swaraj when she talked about China-India relations in 2014, meaning that China had to make concessions in the China-India territorial disputes and recognize Kashmir as Indian territory, experts noted.
As for how China can counter India in this regard, Lin Minwang, a research fellow with the Institute of International Studies at Fudan University, said that India’s control of Kashmir is a headache for the Indian government.
If India supports China’s separatist forces, it means that it has undermined the principle of establishing diplomatic relations, and China will not respect India’s sovereignty or territorial integrity. Long said that many armed forces in India, especially in the northeast, have demanded China’s support.
The embassy said that China firmly opposes any country that has diplomatic ties with China making any form of official contact or exchanges with Taiwan. China’s red line on the Taiwan question cannot be challenged and there is no room for compromise, the embassy said.
The Chinese government has firm resolve to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity. We have the capability to thwart separatist attempts for “Taiwan independence” in whatever form, the embassy said.