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Wednesday, February 15, 2017, 21:15

Honor one-China policy, India told

By An Baijie

Beijing urged New Delhi on Wednesday to stick to the one-China principle and respect China's core interests, following a rare visit by a delegation of Taiwan politicians to the Indian capital.

China firmly opposes all forms of official contacts and exchanges between Taiwan and countries that have diplomatic ties with China, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular news conference.

China hopes that India will stick to the one-China principle and handle issues related to Taiwan prudently, he said, adding that China has lodged a protest with India on the issue.

The spokesman's comment came after the visit of a Taiwan lawmakers delegation to New Delhi starting on Sunday. The delegation visited India's Parliament House complex on Monday. It was the first visit to India by an official Taiwan delegation since Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen took office in May.

Tsai challenged the one-China principle in December when she made a congratulatory phone call to Donald Trump after he won the US presidential election. Trump assured President Xi Jinping last week that Washington will continue to honor the one-China policy.

Noting that India has committed to recognizing the one-China principle, Geng said New Delhi should respect and understand China's core interests and maintain the healthy development of China-India relations.

A report in the Indian newspaper The Hindu said the Taiwan delegation sought to upgrade "diplomatic ties" with India in the coming weeks, quoting anonymous sources from Taiwan. Like most countries, India does not have diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

According to Resolution 2758, adopted in 1971 by the United Nations General Assembly, the People's Republic of China is "the only legitimate representative of China to the United Nations". The one-China policy confirmed by the resolution has since been the consensus of the international community.

Qian Feng, an expert at the Chinese Association for South Asian Studies, said that some Indians want to use the Taiwan question as a bargaining chip in dealing with China.

India's suspicions and dissatisfaction toward China have risen in recent years, especially over the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project, he said.

Jin Yong, a professor of international relations studies at Communication University of China, said the Taiwan delegation's visit will have a negative effect on China-India ties.

Tsai, the "pro-independence" Taiwan leader, came up with the "new southbound policy" last year to enhance economic exchanges with Southeast Asia, South Asia and Oceania, Jin said, adding that Tsai hopes to put pressure on the mainland by seeking closer ties with India.

"The one-China principle is a red line whose crossing will never be tolerated by Beijing," he said.

anbaijie@chinadaily.com.cn

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