INDIA. New Delhi: India warned China on August 12, not to change the “status quo” around Taiwan and insinuated that no “unilateral action” should result from the prevailing circumstances.
During the weekly press briefing, Arindam Bagchi’s spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs did not explicitly state India’s position on the “One China” policy. However, he did give the impression that Beijing’s continued refusal to support New Delhi’s fight against Pakistan-based terrorist groups is related to India’s stance on Taiwan.
Significantly, India’s remarks on the Taiwan problem came a day after China put a technical hold on a UN Security Council resolution India supported that sought to blacklist the deputy leader of the terror organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed, which has its base in Pakistan.
“India, like many other nations, is alarmed by recent events. We demand that restraint be used, that unilateral steps to change the status quo be avoided, that tensions be de-escalated, and that efforts be made to uphold peace and stability in the region,” Mr Bagchi stated.
India has been keeping a measured quiet over the situation as China indicated that its “war preparation” would continue despite stopping the military exercise near Taiwan. As the controversy surrounding U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan grew, China stepped up its international diplomacy efforts and contacted nations in Southeast and South Asia to solicit support for its “One China” policy.
Earlier, a spokeswoman for the Chinese embassy in this city claimed that 170 nations supported the “One China” policy and that China would not “renounce” using force to deal with Taiwan.
Mr Bagchi responded when questioned about India’s stance on the “One China” policy: “India has clear and consistent policies in this area. They don’t need to be repeated.”
The formal remarks from the Indian side reflect New Delhi’s dissatisfaction with China’s “technical hold” on the designation of Abdul Rauf Asghar, the leader of Jaish e Mohammed, at the UN Security Council on August 11. Mr Bagchi called the Chinese action that stopped Mr Asghar from being blacklisted “unfortunate” and “very uncalled for.”
Because of the most recent terrorist incident in Rajouri, which resulted in the deaths of four troops, India’s firm stance against terrorism gained particular resonance. Leading Indian leaders previously stated that China’s infrastructure initiatives in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and the Gilgit Baltistan region also caused India’s ambivalence on the “One China” policy.
The scheduled arrival of China’s intelligence collecting ship Yuan Wang 5 at Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port has harmed India-China relations in recent weeks and China’s refusal to support India’s counterterrorism objectives at the UNSC.
The Official Spokesperson for India denied that India had pressured Sri Lanka to stop the dual-purpose ship from docking in Hambantota during the briefing on Friday.
He also linked India’s maritime security concerns to the ongoing tension between India and China along the Line of Actual Control, saying, “With regard to our security concerns, this is the sovereign right of every country. We’ll decide what’s best for us in the long run. This naturally considers the situation that is currently in place in our area, especially in the border areas.”
A report on Yuan Wang 5
Sri Lankan officials declined to comment on whether the Chinese ship made a port visit at Hambantota beyond August 11, which was the scheduled arrival date.
The Hindu contacted the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday, but representatives could not confirm whether the vessel had arrived.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka said on Monday that it had informed the Chinese Embassy to “defer the visit” of the vessel as mentioned above to the Hambantota port “in view of the necessity for further deliberations,” which was the sole official statement from the Sri Lankan side so far.
It did not specify if Beijing had granted its request, though. In the same statement, the Ministry reiterated its “strong commitment” to the “One China Policy,” as well as its “enduring friendship and great relations” with China.
In the meantime, the Sri Lankan Navy reported that PNS Taimur, Pakistan’s freshly commissioned Chinese-built frigate warship, arrived at the Colombo port on Friday. According to sources, Bangladesh refused to allow the ship to land at Chattogram Port; hence it is now berthed in Colombo.
The Sri Lankan Navy issued a statement saying that “PNS Taimur is slated to conduct a naval drill with the Sri Lanka Navy in western seas on its departure on August 15.”