Taipei: Taiwan says its leader made a transit stop in India on his way to Africa. India has previously banned the island`s top officials from visiting.
Taiwan`s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday said that the weekend stop was for no other purposes than fuelling. It said it had kept President Ma Ying-jeou`s stop in Mumbai secret because of the event`s sensitivity.
India has diplomatic ties with Beijing, not Taipei. The two sides split amid civil war in 1949.
Beijing claims the self-ruled, democratic island as its territory.
The Foreign Ministry said Ma was allowed to refuel partly because of warming relations between Taiwan and China.
Ma`s predecessor Chen Shui-bian would trumpet his overseas visits as diplomatic victories to the ire of Beijing. (AP)