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Amid China’s protest over the exchange of greetings between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Taiwanese President Lai Ching-te, the US State Department said such congratulatory messages between two foreign leaders are a part of diplomatic business.

I would say that such congratulatory messages are the normal course of diplomatic business,” State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters on Thursday at his daily news conference.

He was responding to a question on China protesting over Modi’s comment that he looked forward to having closer ties with Taiwan after his victory in the just concluded Lok Sabha elections.

Earlier on Wednesday, Modi’s remarks came in response to a congratulatory message from Taiwan President Lai Ching-te on his election victory.

Lai, elected as Taiwan’s President last month, in a message posted on X said: My sincere congratulations to Prime Minister @narendramodi on his election victory. We look forward to enhancing the fast-growing #Taiwan-#India partnership, expanding our collaboration on trade, technology & other sectors to contribute to peace & prosperity in the #IndoPacific.

In his reply posted on X, Modi said: Thank you @ChingteLai for your warm message. I look forward to closer ties as we work towards mutually beneficial economic and technological partnership.

China views Taiwan as a rebel province that must be reunified with the mainland, even by force.

On Thursday, China objected to the exchange between the Indian and Taiwanese leader, insisting that New Delhi should resist Taiwan authorities’ political calculations”.

Addressing a media briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said China opposes “all forms of official interactions between the Taiwan authorities and countries having diplomatic relations with China. There is but one China in the world. Taiwan is an inalienable part of the territory of the People’s Republic of China”.