Indian netizens defy China, wish Taiwan on National Day

President Tsai Ing-wen mentions Delhi in her speech for the first time

Indian netizens defy China, wish Taiwan on National Day

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen delivers a speech during National Day celebrations in Taipei, Taiwan, on Saturday. Reuters

Sandeep Dikshit

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 10

The Galwan valley killings and the ongoing tensions with China along the LAC have made “Taiwan” a much used currency on social media.

Online spat

An online spat between Indians and the Chinese Government has been on since October 7, which was also briefly touched upon by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). The Chinese embassy had emailed an advice to journalists, saying they should “properly” report Taiwan’s National Day. To this, MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava had said, “The Indian media is free to report on any issue it deems fit.”

Double tenth day

October 10 National Day dates from the start of a 1911 rebellion against Qing, China’s last empire, that led to the establishment of the Republic of China, which remains Taiwan’s formal name. AP

Posters near Chinese embassy

New Delhi: Posters wishing Taiwan on its National Day came up near the Chinese embassy in New Delhi on Saturday, but were removed by the New Delhi Municipal Council within hours, an official said. The posters, reading “Taiwan Happy National Day October 10”, were issued by Delhi BJP leader Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga. PTI

Indian netizens have vied to post “Happy Double Tenth National Day” to commemorate the island’s separation from Beijing on October 10, 1949.

Besides, for the first time, the Taiwan President has mentioned India in her National Day speech. In addition, BJP supporters today hung pro-Taiwan hoardings for the first time outside the Chinese embassy in the highly protected diplomatic enclave here. Right-wing publications, in particular, have approvingly noted this act.

China maintains that Taiwan will ultimately join the mainland. It doesn’t allow any country to have normal diplomatic relations with Taipei under its “One China Policy”. A furious Beijing has inflated the number of hoardings in front of its embassy to hundreds and warned via Global Times that India’s provocation on the Taiwan question will lead to an “irreversible” impact on the China-India ties.

The first-ever pro-Taiwan gesture in a diplomatic enclave means that Chinese diplomats here will now have to keep an eye out for mischief from Tibetans as well as pro-Taiwan activists. On Taiwan’s unusually high visibility on social media, mainly powered by Indians, Pradeep Taneja, a fellow at Australia India Institute, said, “I have never seen so many foreigners sending their best wishes to the people of Taiwan on the National Day celebrations as this year. What has changed? Perhaps it is time for Beijing to introspect.”

An online spat between Indians and the Chinese Government has been on since October 7, which was also briefly touched upon by the Ministry of External Affairs. The Chinese embassy here had emailed an advice to journalists on “properly” reporting Taiwan’s National Day. When asked, MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava had said, “Indian media is free to report on any issue it deems fit.”

The MEA’s observation has provided more ballast to hashtags #TaiwanisACountry and #TaiwanNationalDay.

India has already indicated that it will not abide by Chinese rules for developing its ties with Taiwan after tensions broke out along the LAC. 

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