Taipei--An Australian newspaper characterized as "disgusting" and "extraordinary" scenes caused by a Chinese delegation as it sought to prevent a Taiwanese group from attending a conflict diamonds meeting hosted by Australia's foreign minister in Perth on Monday.
Participants at the Kimberley Process meeting hosted by Julie Bishop described "disgusting" and "extraordinary" scenes involving Chinese delegates, who "shouted over the welcome to country ceremony and forced the suspension of proceedings," The Sydney Morning Herald reported Wednesday.
The Taiwanese delegation was later ejected from the intergovernmental meeting at the request of the Chinese delegates who objected to their attendance, the report said.
The Chinese delegation noisily disrupted the official welcome ceremony and forced the suspension of at least one session on Monday, the report said.
"It was disgusting," the report cited one high-level Australian attendee who asked that their name not be used as saying. "It was extraordinary, so uncalled for and so inappropriate, and so disrespectful."
Asked about the incident, Taiwan's Deputy Foreign Minister Javier Hou (???) said mainland China "has resorted to every conceivable means" to block the ROC from international affairs.
This time it disrupted the proceedings of the Perth meeting and delayed the meeting, he said.
To allow the conference to proceed, the ROC had no choice but to withdrew and attended only bilateral activities on the sideline of the meeting before its return to Taiwan on Tuesday, Hou said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will write a letter to the Australian government to make clear its stance and express the gratitude of Taiwan to Australia for the invitation.
Taiwan "understands what had happened but insists it had the right to attend the meeitng," said Hou.
Asked if the government will protest to mainland China, Hou said the matter will be handled by the Mainland Affairs Council.
Taiwan attended the four-day Kimberley Process intersessional meeting under the name Rough Diamond Trading Entity of Chinese Taipei, at the invitation of Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The Australian government said the invitation was in line with earlier precedent and consistent with Australia's One China policy, according to the report.
The Kimberley Process is an international meeting first convened in 2000 aimed at stopping the trade in conflict diamonds and preventing the diamond trade from funding violence by insurgent movements.
Taiwan was granted observer status in 2007.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel