NEW DELHI: In a major departure from its acceptance of the 'One China Policy', India on Wednesday termed the one-of-a-kind visit of Taiwanese legislators here as "nothing unusual".
The policy shift seems to be India's way at getting back at its eastern neighbour after failing to make China see reason on two key issues: its entry to the Nuclear Suppliers Group and banning Masood Azhar at the UN.
The official spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs, Vikas Swarup, downplayed the visit saying that a group of Taiwanese academics and businessmen, including a couple of legislators, is visiting India. He insisted that such informal groups have visited India in the past as well for business, religious and tourist purposes. "I understand that they do so to China as well. There is nothing new or unusual about such visits and political meanings should not be read into them," Swarup said.
India's response has come after a strong protest from China over the Taiwanese parliamentary delegation. Beijing warned New Delhi to stick to 'One China Policy' and asked it against maintaining official contact with Taipei, Taiwan's capital.
The three-member Taiwanese parliamentary delegation arrived in India on Monday. During an interaction with the media, Taiwanese legislator Kuan Bi-Ling contended that his nation is "totally independent".
India does not have diplomatic relation with Taiwan after China articulated its claim over the island and expressed the will to use force if the status was altered by any means. 'One China Policy' is the cornerstone of the diplomatic framework of the nation. Taiwan has a democratically-elected government, unlike the communist dispensation in China.
The hosting of the Taiwanese delegation is signalling an assertive Indian foreign policy towards China. Off late, the government has not hesitated in hosting Tibetan Spiritual leader Dalai Lama, disregarding Chinese sensitivities.
Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar has on many occasions advised China that it ought to respect other countries' sensitivity and sovereignty, if it wants the same for itself.