Free media in India: Centre strongly reacts to Chinese mission`s letter to national press

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In a hard-hitting reaction to Chinese mission’s letter to the Indian media to follow “One China” policy, the Centre on Thursday said that there is free media in India and it reports on issues that they see fit. Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “I will say, there is a free media in India that reports on the issues as it sees fit.”

READ | Get lost: Taiwan reacts after Chinese mission asks Indian media to follow ‘one China’ policy

Ahead of Taiwan’s national day on October 10, the Chinese mission in Delhi wrote to Indian media and called upon them to not refer to Taiwan as a “nation”. Chinese mission in the letter said, “would like to remind our media friends that there is only one China in the world” and the “Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legitimate government representing the whole of China.”

It added, “Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. 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 came hours after leading national newspapers in India carried full-page advert, on Zee Media running a programme on Taiwanese national day. The programme went on air at 7 pm on Wednesday and will again go on air on Thursday at 5.30 pm.

The letter by Chinese mission also hoped, “Indian media can stick to Indian government’s position on Taiwan question and do not violate the One-China principle”, asking the Indian media to not refer Taiwan as a “country” or “The Republic of China” or its Taiwan president Tsai ing-wen as President as it sends “wrong signals to the general public.”

Reacting to it, Taiwan’s foreign minister Joseph Wu on Wednesday asked the Chinese mission to “get lost”. A tweet by Taiwanese Foreign Ministry, said, “India is the largest democracy on earth with a vibrant press and freedom-loving people. But it looks like communist China hoping to march into the subcontinent by imposing censorship.”

“Taiwan’s Indian friends will have one reply: GET LOST! JW”. The tweet was undersigned with initials–JW or Joseph Wu, the foreign minister of Taiwan. 

It was on October 10, 2011, that the start of Wuchang Uprising leading to the end of China’s Qing Dynasty and establishment of the Republic of China. This day is marked in Taiwan, and this year will be celebrated amid tensions between China and Taiwan.

Speaking on the Chairman of High Council for National Reconciliation of Afghanistan Dr Abdullah Abdullah’s visit, he said India’s development partnership was appreciated and Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaffirmed close ties. Abdullah briefed the PM on the Afghan peace process and on the ongoing talks in Doha.

The PM reiterated India’s commitment to sustainable peace in Afghanistan and welcomed efforts to permanent ceasefire there. During the meeting, Prime Minister reaffirmed India’s long term commitment to further deepening the historical ties between India and Afghanistan, Srivastava added.

Srivastava said, “Seven Indians working at a construction company were kidnapped in Libya on September 14. Our embassy in Tunisia has contacted the Libyan government and international organisations. They are working for the release of these Indians. We have been informed that they are safe.”

On India-US 2+2 meeting, the MEA spokesperson said, “2+2 ministerial meeting is scheduled later this year. We are in the process of working out mutually convenient dates.”

Speaking on Vijay Mallya, he said, “After the dismissal of Vijay Mallya’s appeal against extradition orders, he tried to appeal to Supreme Court which was rejected too. He’s exhausted all appeals. We’re in constant touch with the UK government. We’re told a legal matter has to be resolved without which he can’t be extradited.”

“Core issues need to be addressed, which includes unimpeded consular access,” said the MEA spokesperson on Kulbhushan Jadhav.

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