A fight broke out between Chinese diplomats and Taiwanese government employees at a reception in Fiji to mark Taiwan’s national day, the Taiwanese foreign ministry said Monday, in a display of rising tension between the rival governments over diplomatic recognition.
The confrontation erupted when the Taiwanese tried to stop Chinese diplomats from taking photos of guests at the Oct. 8 event, said a ministry spokeswoman, Joanne Ou, in a written statement. She said a Taiwanese employee was taken to a hospital with a head wound while police took away the Chinese diplomats.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly condemns the Chinese embassy in Fiji’s staff‘s actions which severely violates rule of law and norms of civilized behavior,” said Ou. She said Taiwan made a formal protest to the Fiji government.
China’s foreign ministry didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.
China is stepping up pressure on other governments to isolate Taiwan, which split with the mainland in 1949 following a civil war.
Taiwan is recognized as an independent government by only 15 nations, most of them small and poor. But its democratically elected government has extensive commercial and informal ties with many nations.
The National Day event in Suva, the Fiji capital, was hosted by the Taipei Trade Office.
Chinese diplomats are increasingly assertive abroad.
This year, the Chinese Embassy in Thailand accused critics of “betraying history” in a social media battle over the origin of the coronavirus outbreak and the status of Hong Kong and Taiwan.
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