Taiwan Slams Bolivia’s China Puppet Role

By Tsering Choephel

DHARAMSALA, 8 April: Taiwan’s foreign minister condemned Bolivia for expressing solidarity with China following an earthquake that struck the island, whose sovereignty is being threatened by China’s claim as “an inalienable part” of its territory.

Bolivia’s foreign ministry issued a statement on Friday expressing its solidarity “with the sister People’s Republic of China in the face of the loss of life and severe material damage caused by a large earthquake that occurred in recent hours off the coast of Taiwan,” the Times of India reported on Saturday.

In response, Taiwan’s foreign minister lashed out at Bolivia, saying, “You shouldn’t be the evil, expansionist PRC’s pathetic puppet that jumps when Beijing says jump.” He added, “Just like Taiwan, Bolivia is NOT part of communist China. No more, no less.”

The foreign ministry has further condemned the Bolivian statement, declaring that the South American country was “following the Chinese authoritarian government to spread false remarks internationally that belittle our country’s sovereignty.”

Following the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck Taiwan on April 3, killing at least 10 people and injuring over 1,000, leaders across the world offered their solidarity and support for the island nation.

On Thursday last week, Beijing’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations thanked the world for its concern for Taiwan, which he referred to as ‘China’s Taiwan. Taiwan’s foreign ministry slammed China’s action as ‘shameless’ saying it “solemnly condemns China’s shameless use of Taiwan’s earthquake to conduct cognitive operations internally.

The earthquake, which struck Carsten County in Hualien, Taiwan, shortly before 8 am, was the strongest earthquake to hit Taiwan in 25 years. The quake was followed by more than 200 aftershocks, dozens of which were around 6.5 magnitudes. As seen in videos and photos online, the earthquake caused the collapse of buildings and bridges and the destruction of many properties.

Beijing claims self-ruled and democratic Taiwan as its own and views it as a wayward province to be reunified with China by force if necessary. Taiwan has been self-governed since 1949 when Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang troops fled to the island after losing China’s civil war to Mao’s Communist Party.

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