Taiwan alleged two Chinese embassy officials gate-crashed a National Day event in Fiji to fight Taiwanese officials. The country claims the diplomats tried to force their way into the event in order to take pictures and collect information on attendees before brawling with Taiwanese diplomats. But China has rejected the ministry’s account as “totally inconsistent with the facts”. The two countries have been locked in a stand-off over territory, with China carrying out military drills over Taiwanese territory in the South China Sea in recent weeks.
Joanne Ou, Taiwan’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, claimed the Chinese diplomats sent a Taiwanese diplomat to hospital in the altercation.
Speaking in Taipei, she said Taiwan was a “peace-loving country” which invited people to events around the world to mark National Day on October 8.
She added China had become a “gangster diplomacy” which lies to other countries over its actions.
Ms Ou then urged world leaders to denounce the Chinese embassy’s alleged actions, and added: “Going forward we will continue to hold national day receptions. This will not change.”
READ MORE: China vs Taiwan: Taiwanese diplomat hospitalised after attack by Chinese officials in Fiji
Taiwanese premier Su Tseng-chang added the Chinese diplomats had committed a “barbaric act” in allegedly attacking the representatives.
He also said: “China’s officials posted overseas are acting like hooligans; beating people is not acceptable. We sternly condemn this.”
Mr Su revealed the Chinese diplomats enjoyed diplomatic immunity from Fiji’s government, which made the issue harder to resolve.
He then added “we must appeal to the international community with the relevant evidence”, echoing Ms Ou’s calls for international intervention in the row.
The brawl is the latest flashpoint of conflict between China and Taiwan, who have been embroiled in territory disputes throughout the year.
Beijing regards Taiwan as part of mainland China, and its foreign ministry claimed Taipei diplomats were displaying “A false national flag” to provoke them.
China recently carried out a simulated invasion of Taiwan in a military exercises near the Taiwan Strait.
The drill, revealed by state media broadcaster CCTV, showcased China’s air force and naval power in the South China Sea.
It took place on the same day as Taiwan’s National Day on October 13, with Zhu Fenglian, spokesperson at the Taiwan Affairs Office in Beijing warning: “Taiwan independence is a dead end, while confrontation will lead to nowhere.”
Beijing has also protested the US’ involvement in Taiwan, and warned America to stop meddling in its affairs.
Recently Beijing claimed the US undermines peace efforts in the Taiwan Strait, despite carrying out simulated attacks and constant fly-overs with fighter jets.
It followed the destroyer USS Barry carrying out a “routine Taiwan Strait transit” last week.
Beijing accused Washington and Taipei of “collusion” over Taiwan declaring formal independence, ramping up air force activity near Taiwan in a show of force as a response.