A battle between Chinese diplomats and a Taiwanese delegate in Fiji The Taiwanese official was left hospitalized with a head injury, once again highlighting tensions between Beijing and Taipei in their struggle for influence across the Pacific.
The accident occurred at a reception at the Taipei Commerce Bureau at the Suva Grand Pacific Hotel on October 8, to celebrate Taiwan’s National Day. It was alleged that two officials from the Chinese embassy in Suva arrived without invitation and attempted to photograph and photograph the attendees, including at least two ministers from the Fiji government, diplomats from other countries, international and local NGOs, and members of the ethnic Chinese community in Fiji, according to sources in Fiji. He told the event to the Guardian.
A member of the Taiwan delegation asked the two men to leave, but according to the sources, they refused to do so.
A fight broke out outside the hotel, and the Taiwanese official was seriously injured that he needed hospital treatment for head injuries.
Police were called to the hotel, but sources at the scene told the Guardian that Chinese officials claimed diplomatic immunity.
The Chinese embassy in Suva at a later time Issued a statement Saying that the event of the National Day of Taiwan was illegal.
“This kind of job clearly violates the one-China principle … by trying to create” two Chinas “or” one China. ” ChinaTaiwan is “one” internationally.
“The Taipei Commercial Office staff in Fiji acted provocatively against the Chinese embassy staff who were performing their official duties in the public area outside the venue, causing injuries and damage to one Chinese diplomat.
“We have expressed our grave concern to the Fijian side … We demanded that the Fiji police force conduct a thorough investigation of the incidents and hold the perpetrators accountable in accordance with the law.”
Several sources at the event confirmed a scuffle, and the Taiwan Trade Office in Suva was informed to submit an official protest note to the Fiji Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
A Fiji Police spokeswoman said that the Chinese embassy had filed a complaint against a Taiwanese official, claiming that Chinese diplomats were assaulted when they tried to enter the place.
Taiwan’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Zeng Hu Jin confirmed the accident on Monday.
In response to questions in Taiwan’s parliament, the Yuan Legislative Assembly, Zeng said that the Taipei office in Fiji reported that Chinese diplomats attended the event and looked around before leaving, then returned, shouting and “almost breaking the door.”
Foreign Ministry personnel intervened and a physical confrontation occurred. Taiwan media reported that the matter has been directed at Fiji authorities and that Taiwan officials are helping. Zeng condemned the alleged “irrational behavior” of Beijing employees abroad, and said it was “extremely regrettable” that the Chinese employees disrupted the “peaceful” event.
Taiwan legislator and member of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, Wang Tingyu, said he was “horrified and outraged.”
“We cannot allow China to bully in the way of doing what it wants,” said Wang, who is also the co-chair of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. “Our diplomats in Fiji have my full support.”
Larry Tsing, head of the ministry’s Department of East Asia and Pacific Affairs, said he believed the Chinese were trying to find out if any Fiji politicians were present at the event.
He added that there were casualties on both sides in the “push and push” that occurred between Chinese and Taiwanese diplomats.
The alleged altercation is a microcosm of the tensions between Beijing and Taipei that are swirling around the region and the world.
The Pacific was officially a stronghold of Taiwan’s support, but since 2019, Beijing has managed to “overturn” both Solomon Islands And the Kiribati In providing official recognition and diplomatic relations. Taiwan maintains formal relations with four countries in the Pacific Ocean – Nauru, Palau, the Marshall Islands, and Tuvalu – though not Fiji.
China greetings Taiwan As one of its provinces, it is not entitled to establish full links with any foreign country.
Exacerbated tensions between Taipei and Beijing previously erupted in the Pacific Forums. In 2017, a meeting of the Kimberley Process – which deals with the financed diamond trade – hosted by the Australian foreign minister in Perth had to be suspended when members of the Chinese delegation shouted welcome to the country party and interrupted speakers, demanding to know if all the guests at the talks were “invited officially”.
Then, at the insistence of the Chinese delegates, a Taiwanese delegation that had been invited to the meeting was expelled.
And in 2018, the president of Nauru, which hosts the Pacific Islands Forum, said the Chinese envoy to the forum was so “Rude” and “bully” To demand to speak out during a leaders meeting.
Taiwan’s representative, Jessica Lee, hosted a sharp Suva event this month to highlight Fijian and Taiwanese cooperation in agriculture, fisheries, education and medicine for five decades.
The event was attended by two Fijian government ministers, Fisheries Minister Phae Corwelvesau, Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports Alipati Nagata, as well as opposition leader Sitivine Rabuka, a number of opposition MPs and prominent businessmen.
It is rare to see government ministers in Taiwan events due to the close diplomatic relations between Fiji and China, which have invested in the country $ 1.08 billion over the past five years.
This number dwarfs Taiwan’s contribution, although Taipei is largely an informal partner working with grassroots communities and private sector organizations in the country.
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