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Taiwan earthquake

Taiwan condemns ‘shameless’ China’s thanks for global sympathy on quake

Taiwan condemns ‘shameless’ China’s thanks for global sympathy on quake
Government personnel inspect the exterior of a partially collapsed residential building following the 03 April magnitude 7.4 earthquake in Hualien, Taiwan, 04 April 2024. The strongest earthquake in 25 years, with multiple aftershocks, has not only claimed at least nine lives and injured more than a thousand but also disrupted daily life. It has damaged structures nationwide, leading to the suspension of schools and businesses in some parts of the island. EPA-EFE/DANIEL CENG

TAIPEI, April 4 (Reuters) - Taiwan on Thursday condemned China as "shameless" after Beijing's deputy ambassador to the United Nations thanked the world for its concern about a strong earthquake on the island.

China claims democratically-governed Taiwan as its own territory and also claims the right to speak for it on the international stage, to the fury of Taipei given Beijing’s communist government has never ruled the island and has no say in how it chooses its leaders.

On Wednesday, after the 7.2 earthquake hit eastern Taiwan, killing 10 people, China’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the U.N., Geng Shuang, mentioned at a meeting about children’s rights that another speaker had brought up the quake in “China’s Taiwan”.

China is concerned about the damage and has expressed condolences to Taiwan and offered aid, he said, according to a transcript of his remarks carried on the Chinese mission to the U.N.’s website.

“We thank the international community for its expressions of sympathy and concern,” he added.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry expressed anger at the remarks.

The ministry “solemnly condemns China’s shameless use of the Taiwan earthquake to conduct cognitive operations internationally”, it said, using Taiwan’s normal term for what it views as Chinese psychological warfare.

This shows China has no goodwill towards Taiwan, the ministry added.

Taiwan’s government has already thanked governments and leaders around the world for their messages of concern and offers of support, including from the United States, the island’s most important international supporter despite the lack of diplomatic ties.

The defeated Republic of China government fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing a civil war to Mao Zedong’s communists, who established the People’s Republic of China with its capital in Beijing.

Taiwan’s formal name remains the Republic of China.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Philippa Fletcher)

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