One-China principle is a universal consensus of the international community, including India, says Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson

India should remain committed to the one-China principle and deal with Taiwan prudently, Beijing warned on Tuesday following a media report that New Delhi could open trade talks with Taiwan, which the mainland considers a breakaway region.

The Chinese foreign ministry also slammed a meeting of the newly appointed US officer for Tibetan affairs with the head of Tibet’s government-in-exile.

“There is only ‘One-China’ in the world and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. One-China principle is a universal consensus of the international community, including India,” ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a regular briefing.

Zhao was reacting to a Bloomberg report which indicated that India could begin trade talks with Taiwan.

“It (one-China principle) is also the political basis for China to develop ties with other countries. So, we firmly oppose any official exchanges between countries having diplomatic ties with China and Taiwan or signing any official documents,” Zhao added.

“The Indian side should remain committed to one-China principle and approach Taiwan-related issues prudently and properly.”

Tensions between China and Taiwan has risen recently over the issue of reunification – summarily rejected by the current Taiwanese dispensation led by President Tsai Ing-wen.

Beijing has aggressively reacted to developing ties between Taiwan and foreign countries including India.

Earlier this month, the Chinese embassy in New Delhi issued guidelines for the Indian media’s coverage of Taiwan’s national day, observed on October 10, saying all countries having diplomatic ties with Beijing should “firmly honour their commitment to the One-China policy”.

The Chinese embassy sent out a letter referring to the “so-called forthcoming ‘National Day of Taiwan’”, and saying it “would like to remind our media friends that there is only one China in the world, and the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legitimate government representing the whole of China”.

“Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory...All countries that have diplomatic relations with China should firmly honour their commitment to the One-China policy, which is also the long-standing official position of the Indian government,” the letter said.

In February 2017, China had lodged a complaint with India on the rare visit of a Taiwanese parliamentary delegation, warning New Delhi to follow the “one-China” policy and to not have any official contact with Taipei.

In 2015 September, before she became the first woman President of Taiwan, Tsai had spoken about the increasing importance of India in Taiwan’s foreign policy.

“Asean and India are poised to become two of the world’s largest economic bodies. Strengthening our overall relations is a natural choice for Taiwan as we diversify our economic and trade ties. In the future, we will form a new task force to actively pursue this policy objective,” Tsai had said in her 29th DPP anniversary speech in September.

‘Tibet affairs are purely China’s internal affairs’

Spokesperson Zhao also reacted angrily to reports about the meeting between the head of the Tibetan administration in exile, Lobsang Sangey with the newly appointed US special coordinator for Tibetan issues, Robert Destro.

Zhao said Tibet’s affairs are purely China’s internal affairs.

“No external forces shall interfere in them. Appointing the so-called special coordinator for Tibetan issues is a political move to interfere in China’s internal affairs and sabotage Xizang’s (Tibet’s) stability. It is China’s consistent position we firmly oppose that, and we will not acknowledge that.”

“We have lodged stern representation to the US side. The so-called Tibetan government in exile is a separatist political organisation chasing a wild dream of Tibetan independence. It violates China’s constitution and law, and it is not recognised by any nation worldwide,” Zhao added.

Calling Sangay an “out and out anti-China separatist”, Zhao said that China firmly opposes him engaging in anti-China separatist activities in whatever status and whatever pretext in any country.

“We firmly oppose officials of other countries having any kind of contact with him.”

“Destro, by meeting with this person violated the commitment and policy stance of US side of not supporting Xizang’s independence and not acknowledging this government in exile. This will send very wrong signal to Xizang’s independence forces.”

“We urge the US side to stop interfering in China’s internal affairs and sabotaging Xizang’s development and stability and refrain from offering any support to the separatist forces. China will take all measures to safeguard its own interests.”