20 Oct 2020

Fiji police to leave China-Taiwan stoush to diplomats

7:48 pm on 20 October 2020

Fiji police will not be conducting further investigations into a stoush involving Chinese and Taiwanese representatives in Suva.

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Photo: 123RF

This comes after reports of an altercation at a reception to celebrate Taiwan's national day in Suva earlier this month

Taiwan's Trade Office accused two Chinese diplomats of forcing their way into the event, resulting in a stoush which left one of its officials hospitalised.

Police confirmed the Chinese embassy lodged a police complaint over an alleged assault on the 8th October.

But a new statement from police says "the matter is now being handled at the diplomatic level as agreed to by all parties involved".

It says the Fiji Police Force therefore will not be conducting further investigations and will not be making any further comments on the issue.

Earlier, Taiwan's Deputy Foreign Minister, Harry Ho-jen Tseng, said that when police arrived at the scene of the stoush, the "Chinese embassy staff refused to (assist their) investigation on the grounds of "diplomatic immunity".

Fiji's government said it has not received any communication from the Taiwan Office or the Chinese Embassy over the matter.

Fiji's acting Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Yogesh Karan, said they would like to hear from both diplomatic missions.

The alleged assault is the first physical confrontation between members of both diplomatic missions, and a Taiwanese official said the Chinese diplomats had "falsely claimed" that they had been attacked.

China views Taiwan as a renegade province and not a state with diplomatic power.