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Beijing wants Indian media to toe its line, Taiwan tells China to ‘get lost’

Beijing wants Indian media to toe its line, Taiwan tells China to ‘get lost’

If there is a part of the policy framework that has remained untouched by the post-cold war realities, it is Indian diplomacy. Still informed with Nehruvian fantasies and fallacies, it continues to harm the national interest. The continuation of One China policy is testimony to the dead hand of the past. The upshot of the policy is that we don’t recognize democratic Taiwan as an independent nation but a part of China.

To be sure, India is not alone that doesn’t recognize Taiwan as a nation. Out of the 14 countries that recognize Taiwan, only Guatemala, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Paraguay are the ones you might have heard of. Others are like Belize, Eswatini, Nauru, Palau, and Saint Lucia. No major country recognizes Taiwan, primarily because nobody wants to annoy Beijing.

But then no major country has fought a war with China; we did in 1962. Also, no major country is chafed and fretted by China as much we are—be it the bloody clashes in June this, its refusal to return our territory it has grabbed, its reluctance to resolve the border issue, or its obstinacy regarding its claim over Arunachal Pradesh.

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China continues to be as bellicose and nefarious as ever, but we continue to appease it on almost every issue. We are indeed in a state of permanent placation as far as China is concerned. Nothing else explains the continuation of One China policy.

The consequence of appeasement is demand for greater concessions. So, Beijing just doesn’t want the government of India to do its bidding—which the foreign office often does, thanks to the Nehruian policy it persists with—but also wants our media to behave itself. To be precise, to behave in the manner the Chinese Communist Party wants it to.

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So, CCP thugs were incensed to see to see advertisements in leading Indian newspapers by Taiwan’s government celebrating the democratic country’s national day. The advertisement carried Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s photograph and hailed India as a natural partner of island nation threatened by the dragon.

“Regarding the so-called forthcoming ‘National Day of Taiwan,’ the Chinese Embassy in India 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,” the Chinese Embassy said. “We hope Indian media can stick to Indian government’s position on Taiwan question and do not violate the ‘One China’ principle.”

How typical of tyrants! The media should follow the government line! Chinese President Xi Jinpeng and his cronies need to realize that India is a democracy, however messy, and the media here is still free, despite its myriad shortcomings.

Typically, New Delhi’s reaction was marked with blandness, if not pusillanimity. When reporters asked the foreign office spokesperson about China’s diktat to the Indian media, he responded, “There is free media in India that reports on issues as it sees fit.”

In comparison, the tiny nation’s response was courageous and blunt. Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu tweeted: “India is the largest democracy on Earth with a vibrant press &amp; freedom-loving people. But it looks like communist #China is hoping to march into the subcontinent by imposing censorship. #Taiwan’s Indian friends will have one reply: GET LOST!”

It is time India became a true friend of Taiwan’s by dumping the One China policy and establishing full diplomatic ties with the courageous democracy that is fighting China’s aggression..