Taiwan today thanked India for expressing solidarity with the East Asian island in the wake of yesterday’s gruesome rail tragedy in which 51 people were killed and over 150 injured.

”Thank [email protected] for the expression of solidarity and support. This genuinely friendly gesture will touch the people, & bring Taiwan and India closer in a real & lasting manner,” Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu tweeted.

His tweet came soon after Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Aridam Bagchi tweeted, ”We are deeply saddened by the loss of so many lives in the railway accident in Taiwan. Our deepest condolences to the families. And our prayers for the early recovery of the injured.”

India and Taiwan do not have formal diplomatic relations but since 1995, both sides have maintained representative offices in each other’s capitals that function as de facto embassies.

Taiwan has been keen on opening an embassy in New Delhi and further enhancing strong trade and commercial links with India. But China, which claims Taiwan and regards it as a wayward province, has maintained relentless pressure on India not to review its ”One China” policy.

During the height of the recent tensions between India and China in the wake of the military stand-off in Eastern Ladakh, Beijing had taken umbrage to Indian newspapers carrying advertisements for Taiwan’s national day in October last year and advised the Indian media to observe the ”One China” principle.

In e-mails sent to representatives of the Indian media, the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi said, “Regarding the so-called ‘National Day of Taiwan’, the Chinese Embassy in India 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 said, ”We hope Indian media can stick to the Indian government’s position on the Taiwan question and do not violate the ‘One China’ principle.”