After BJP leader Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga put up 'Happy National Day Taiwan' posters outside Chinese Embassy in New Delhi, the Chinese government mouthpiece Global Times on Saturday called it as an "act of playing with fire". The state-affiliated media house quoted Chinese analysts and warned, "(It) will only worsen the already soured China-India ties."
"Hanging up posters arranged by India BJP leader celebrating the “national day” of Taiwan island outside Chinese Embassy in New Delhi is an act of playing with fire, and will only worsen the already soured China-India ties, Chinese analysts warned," Global Times tweeted.
Bagga then hit back at the Chinese media house and said that we have just started paying back with interest. "MORE TO COME...WAIT & WATCH," he wrote. "When ur President came to India last year,we greeted him with highest tradition of Atithi Devo Bhava.But ur country backstabbed us in Ladakh. U broke Trust.U started playing with fire.U worsened relation (sic)," Bagga added.
Earlier, the Chinese Embassy had issued an advisory to the Indian media asking them to follow one-China policy ahead of Taiwan's National Day celebrations.
"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 by Chinese embassy dated October 7 read.
"We hope Indian media can stick to Indian government's position on Taiwan question and do not violate the One-China principle," it added.
However, responding to the advisory, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava at a media briefing said, "There is a free media in India that reports on issues as it sees fit."
For the uninitiated, relations between India and China have been strained since 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a violent faceoff between the two armies in Ladakh's Galwan valley on June 15. The two sides have been talking to each other, but are yet to reach any agreement on ending the standoff on the border.
In related news, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on the National Day celebrations said that Taiwan will play an active role in establishing new regional and international order in the face of Chinese aggression against democracies.
President Tsai in her national day address on Saturday said: "For some time we have all been paying close attention to changes in regional security. From sovereignty disputes in the South and East China Seas and the China-India border conflict, to developments in the Taiwan Strait, as well as the Hong Kong version of the National Security Law' that has garnered international concern, it is clear that democracy, peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific are currently facing serious challenges."
Countries in this region, she said, have forged various alliances to ensure that their national security and democratic systems are not affected by external influences.
This has already caused unprecedented changes to the region, she pointed out.
"We must turn this testing time into a historical opportunity. Our commitment to our sovereignty and democratic values will not change, but we will also maintain strategic flexibility and be responsive to changes. As circumstances change, advance preparation is the only way to exercise control over the future, and not just drift with the current or have others decide our fate," Tsai said in a stern warning to China.
(With input from agencies)