BEIJING/TAIPEI May 3 China said on Wednesday it
was reasonable to have a delegation from self-ruled Taiwan
removed from a conference in Australia about conflict diamonds,
as Taipei accused Beijing of playing politics for its own ends.
China says Taiwan is part of "one China", ruled by Beijing.
It regards the island as a renegade province, ineligible for
state to state relations and to be brought under Chinese
control, by force if needed, especially if Taiwan moves towards
Taiwan says China has stepped up efforts to block its
international space and attendance at multilateral forums
following the election last year of the independence-leaning
Democratic Progressive Party.
Australia's Sydney Morning Herald said the Chinese
government delegation shouted over the welcome ceremony and
forced the suspension of proceedings at the meeting of the
Kimberley Process, and that Taiwan's delegation was later
The Kimberley Process started when southern African
diamond-producing states met in Kimberley, South Africa, in 2000
to discuss ways to stop the trade in conflict diamonds. Taiwan
was granted observer status in 2007.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the
organisers had improperly invited Taiwan to the meeting, which
was in violation of the rules and something China had repeatedly
complained about ahead of the event.
"But China's reasonable concerns were not respected," Geng
said, adding that many others at the meeting supported China's
position though got no reaction from the organisers.
China's complaints about the issue during the meeting were
in line with the rules and were "reasonable and fair" and
supported by many other attendees, he said.
Taiwan denounced the Chinese interference.
"This kind of inappropriateness is a disregard for the host
country and all the participants, seriously affecting
cooperation on professional issues and we express regret and
condemnation," its Foreign Ministry said in a statement late
"China has for a long time used political force to limit our
international participation or obstruct our attendance at
various professional (meetings), particularly in recent times
the pressure is stronger than in the past."
The ministry thanked Australia for its goodwill in inviting
Australia, like most countries in the world, does not have
formal diplomat relations with Taiwan, though the two have good
economic and business ties.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard and J.R. Wu; Editing by Nick