Taiwanese staffer injured in clash with Chinese side in Fiji

Elias Hubbard
October 19, 2020

The staff from the trade office "acted provocatively against the Chinese Embassy staff who were carrying out their official duties in the public area outside the function venue, causing damage and injuries to one Chinese diplomat", it said. China has also steadily whittled away formal recognition of Taiwan in the worldwide arena, leaving Taipei with just 15 official allies.

The Chinese embassy in Fiji said in a statement on Monday that the allegations concerning its staff were "totally inconsistent with facts".

Both China and Taiwan confirmed the October 8 incident but each disputed the other's claim of what precipitated the fight, which resulted in one Taiwanese staffer being sent to a hospital with a head injury.

"We strongly condemn the actions by the Chinese embassy in Fiji staff for seriously violating the rule of law and civilised code of conduct", Taiwan foreign ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said.

When a Taiwanese diplomat tried to stop them, the confrontation turned violent and he ended up in hospital with a head injury.

China's embassy in Fiji rejected Taiwan's account, and said they had asked Fiji's police to investigate.

A Fiji police spokeswoman told AFP the probe was ongoing and its officers were working on the issue with the Pacific nation's foreign affairs ministry. After the Solomon Islands and Kiribati switched ties to China in quick succession in 2019, the US stepped in to shore up support for Taiwan in the region, urging Taipei's last four remaining allies not to follow suit.

Zhao reiterated that there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory.

Over the last two years Chinese diplomats have also become more assertive at using Western social media platforms and news outlets to defend Beijing's policies, a tactic that has been dubbed "wolf warrior diplomacy".

Fiji has always been a staunch China ally and was the first Pacific island nation to forge diplomatic relations with Beijing in 1975.

Chinese officials responded by accusing Taiwanese officials of assault and filing a complaint with Fiji's police force.

Fiji switched its diplomatic recognition to Beijing in 1975.

Taiwan MP Wang Ting-yu, who chairs a committee focused on foreign affairs, said he was "appalled and outraged" by the attack.

"We can't let China bully its way into doing whatever it wants", he tweeted.

While governments around the world are becoming increasingly concerned about China's more strident approach to diplomacy, Taiwan has always been on the receiving end of it.

Most are small countries in Latin America and the Pacific.

Fiji has always been a staunch China ally and was the first Pacific island nation to forge diplomatic relations with Beijing in 1975.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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