The Congress on Sunday announced that the fourth meeting of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) will be held on December 19.
General Manoj Naravane, a former chief of the army staff, poked fun at China on Tuesday by posting a map on X (previously Twitter) and writing, “Finally someone has got the map of China as it really is.”
The multicoloured map marked various places as being “occupied,” including Tibet and Ladakh.
Just days ago, on August 28, Beijing had released the 2023 edition of the “standard map of China” that included Taiwan, the South China Sea, Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin as Chinese territories. India rejected the so-called “standard map” laying claim over Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin and and lodged a strong protest with Beijing. New Delhi also asserted that such steps only complicate the resolution of the boundary question.
A number of ASEAN members, including Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines, responded angrily to China’s territorial claim and its “standard map” a few days ago.
In the South China Sea, the ASEAN nations have pushed for a legally bound code of conduct (COC), partly in response to China’s persistent efforts to assert its sweeping claims over the area.
On August 8, General Naravane travelled to Taipei in Taiwan, which Beijing claims is a renegade province, together with former navy chief Karambir Singh and former air chief marshal RKS Bhadauria.
The 2023 Indo-Pacific Security Dialogue was hosted by the Ketagalan Forum and featured a keynote speech from Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen.
When questioned about the travel three weeks later, the Chinese foreign ministry stated that it “firmly opposed” such visits without specifically mentioning India.
“China firmly opposes all forms of official interaction between the Taiwan authorities and countries having diplomatic relations with China,” Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for the foreign ministry, said during a routine press conference in Beijing.
“This is our consistent and clear position,” Wang said, according to the official transcript of the press conference published on the Chinese foreign ministry website.
“We hope the country concerned will abide by the one-China principle, prudently and properly handle Taiwan-related issues and refrain from having any form of military and security cooperation with Taiwan,” he added.
General Naravane and two other previous service chiefs’ trip to Taiwan was noteworthy because India doesn’t have official diplomatic ties with Taiwan. In the meantime, China has been flexing its military might near Taiwan in an effort to frighten the democratic nation that it views as its own.
China defended its decision to publish the updated “standard map” for 2023 on 30 August, asserting that doing so is a “routine practise” in conformity with its legal system. India was admonished by the nation to “maintain objectivity and calm” and avoid “over-interpreting” the situation.
Asked about his respone to India’s protest by a Chinese state-run outlet, Wang Wenbin, the foreign ministry spokesperson, told a media briefing in Beijing,”It is a routine practice in China’s exercise of sovereignty in accordance with the law. We hope relevant sides can stay objective and calm, and refrain from over-interpreting the issue.”