Taiwan’s yellow alert for India unchanged after Jama Masjid shootingSeptember 20th, 2010 - 9:42 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Sep 20 (IANS) With India becoming a focus country for the self-ruled island, Taiwan has not changed its months-old yellow alert, the lowest level of a three-colour travel advisory scale, for India in the wake of Sunday’s shooting incident near Jama Masjid in which two Taiwanese tourists were wounded.
“The yellow alert for India has been on for months, much before the Sunday incident. It has not changed after the incident,” Joy Yen, a diplomat in the Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre, told IANS a day after the incident.
A yellow alert serves as a reminder for travellers to exercise caution. An orange travel alert advises travellers to postpone their trips, while a red alert warns travellers not to enter the area in question under any circumstance.
She, however, refused to speculate on whether Taiwan will change the alert level, saying Taipei will decide after getting a report on the police investigation into the incident.
Two gunmen sprayed bullets at tourists alighting from a bus at the gate of the 17th century Jama Masjid, leaving two Taiwanese injured and triggering a scare in the city.
Taiwanese Ko Chang and Ku Ze Wei, both in their 20s, were said to be stable after being shot in the head and stomach Sunday morning.
Yen said that one of the Taiwanese tourists wounded in the shooting has been discharged and another one may take 7-10 days to recover.
Taiwan’s circumspect reaction comes on a day Australia and Britain warned their citizens about possible terror attacks in New Delhi. Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said there was a “high risk of a terrorist attack” in New Delhi to coincide with the Oct 3-14 Commonwealth Games.
India follows the one-China policy and does not recognize Taiwan as a sovereign country.
Taiwan is also downplaying the incident as tourism has been identified as a focus area for expanding bilateral ties with India. The two sides have set up an ambitious target to scale up bilateral trade from the current $6 billion to $10 billion in the next five years.
Tourism and trade have a lot of potential, said Joy Yen.
Nearly 30,000 Taiwanese visit India every year for sightseeing or business - and also to visit Buddhist sites and the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
With more than one-third of the Taiwanese population travelling abroad every year, there is a lot of scope for attracting Taiwanese tourists to India’s Buddhist circuit, Pradeep Kumar Rawat, director-general of the India-Taipei Association and India’s representative in Taipei, told IANS.
“This is an isolated incident. It will not affect Taiwan people’s interest in visiting India,” reports cited Yeh Ting-lin, chairman of the Shih Chun Travel, as saying in Taipei.
“Terrorist attacks usually target Americans and Europeans. Generally speaking, Taiwanese tourists are safe,” he said.
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Tags: 17th century, bilateral ties, china policy, commonwealth games, country taiwan, department of foreign affairs, department of foreign affairs and trade, dfat, focus area, focus country, foreign affairs and trade, gunmen, high risk, ko chang, New Delhi, police investigation, red alert, sovereign country, terror attacks, travel alert