China has lodged a protest with India for hosting a Taiwanese parliamentary delegation and asked it to deal "prudently" with Taiwan-related matters but New Delhi on Wednesday dismissed the issue saying no "political meanings" should be read into such trips.
Briefing the reporters in Beijing on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said, "China lodged representations with India" over the Taiwan parliamentary delegation's visit to New Delhi.
"We hope that India would understand and respect China's core concerns and stick to the 'One-China' principle and prudently deal with Taiwan-related issues and maintain sound and steady development of India-China relations," Geng said.
The remarks evoked a prompt reaction from New Delhi, where External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, "We understand that a group of Taiwanese academics and business persons, including a couple of legislators, is visiting India. Such informal groups have visited India in the past as well for business, religious and tourist purposes.
"I understand that they do so to China as well. There is nothing new or unusual about such visits and political meanings should not be read into them."
A three-member women's parliamentary delegation from Taiwan visited India earlier this week amidst signals of increasing engagement between the two sides.
Taiwan currently has Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre located in New Delhi. India's office in Taiwan is called India-Taipei Association.
China which considers Taiwan as part of its mainland opposes any diplomatic relations as well as political contacts with Taipei by countries which have diplomatic relations with it.
China has been objecting to such visits to India, maintaining that countries that have diplomatic relations with it should fulfil their commitment to the 'One China' policy.
Elaborating further on China's stand on Taiwanese Parliamentary delegation to India, Geng said, "those who are visiting India are so-called legislators from Taiwan" and Beijing is opposed to any official contacts between Taiwan and other countries with whom China has diplomatic relations.
"The reason why China lodged the representation is because that we have been requiring countries that have diplomatic relations with China to fulfil their commitment to the 'One China' principle," he said.
"So by making our representation we are urging the Indian side to stick to the 'One China' principle and take concrete actions for steady development of China-India relations," he said.
He also declined to answer a question about when the protest was lodged with India, saying that "not all the information about diplomatic activities are open to the public".
"All I can tell is China has lodged diplomatic representation with India," he said.
Geng said that "the Indian side has made commitment on the Taiwan-related issues."