Daily US Times: Longstanding tensions between Taiwan and China have erupted over a physical fight between their diplomats in Fiji.
Taiwan alleges two officials of Chinese embassy gate-crashed an event to celebrate their national day earlier this month – claims Beijing disputes.
Both China and Taiwan said their officials were injured in the fight, and have asked Fiji police to investigate.
China regards Taiwan as a breakaway province, but Taiwan argues it is a sovereign state.
Relations between the two are frayed in recent years and there is the constant threat of a violent flare up that could drag in the United States, an ally of Taiwan.
The latest incident reportedly took place on 8 October as Taiwan’s trade office in Fiji – its de facto embassy – held a reception for some 100 distinguished guests in the luxurious Grand Pacific Hotel in the Fijian capital Suva.
Two Chinese officials began taking pictures and trying to collect information about the guests, Taiwan’s foreign ministry claimed. The ministry said, Taiwanese diplomat who asked them to leave was assaulted and needed hospital treatment for a head injury.
Joanne Ou, Taiwan foreign ministry spokeswoman, said: “We strongly condemn the actions by the Chinese embassy in Fiji staff for seriously violating the rule of law and civilised code of conduct.”
But Beijing gave a different account of events. The Chinese embassy in Fiji said its staff had been in a “public area outside the function venue” carrying out “official duties” and accused Taiwanese officials of acted “provocatively” and causing “injuries and damage to one Chinese diplomat”.