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Taiwan says it won't be intimidated by China's 'hooligan' diplomats

Taiwan says it won't be intimidated by China's 'hooligan' diplomats

A military helicopter flies a Taiwan flag during a national day parade in Taipei on Oct 10. (Photo: AFP/Sam Yeh)

TAIPEI: Taiwan will not be intimidated by China's "hooligan" officials and will continue to celebrate its national day around the world, the government said on Tuesday (Oct 20), after Taiwan said Chinese diplomats had tried to charge into a diplomatic event in Fiji.

Taiwan's charges, including that a Taiwanese diplomat ended up in hospital after the altercation, are hotly disputed by China, which views the democratically-run island as its own territory with no right to formal state-to-state ties.

READ: Taiwan says its diplomat was sent to hospital after China spat in Fiji

The Pacific is a major source of competition between the two, where Taiwan has official diplomatic relations with four countries, though not Fiji.

Taiwan says the Chinese diplomats were trying to take pictures of a Taiwan national day event at a hotel to see who was there, and that in the altercation that followed people from both sides were injured.

Speaking in Taipei, Taiwan Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said Taiwan was a "peace-loving country" that invited people to events around the world for its Oct 10 national day, which marks the founding of the Republic of China, Taiwan's official name.

"Going forward we will continue to hold national day receptions," she said. "This will not change."

China can spread as many lies as it likes but Taiwan shouldn't pay too much attention, Ou said.

"The reality is this year we had 108 offices hold national day events in different ways, inviting the world to celebrate our birthday."

READ: Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen calls for 'meaningful dialogue' with China

Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang said the world needed to see what China was capable of, saying what they did was a "barbaric act".

"China's officials posted overseas are acting like hooligans; beating people is not acceptable. We sternly condemn this," he told reporters.

The issue was hard to deal with because the Chinese diplomats there have diplomatic immunity, Su added.

"But we must appeal to the international community with the relevant evidence."

Fiji's foreign ministry has yet to comment on the incident, though Ou said Fiji's government had been trying to mediate to bring a close to the issue.

Source: Reuters/ad


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