The Union Ministry of External Affairs on Wednesday dismissed Beijing’s concerns about a Taiwanese delegation’s visit to India and said there was “nothing new and unusual” about such trips. China had expressed its displeasure over the visit and urged India to act prudently and in the interest of Sino-Indian relations.

The Ministry of External Affairs said such groups have visited India in the past and warned against reading too in terms of “political meanings” into the visit. “We hope that India will understand and respect China’s core concerns and stick to the ‘One-China’ principle,” China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said.

China’s Global Times cautioned India against playing the “Taiwan card”. “High-level visits between India and Taiwan are not very frequent, so why did India invite the Taiwan delegation to visit at this time?” the state-run publication’s report said.

Beijing considers Taiwan to be an integral part of its mainland and opposes relations its government initiates with other countries.