HomeNationalIndia must engage with Taiwan, and not just because of China

    India must engage with Taiwan, and not just because of China

    Taiwan is celebrating India, and making an effort to win the hearts of the Indian community. This was manifested in Taiwan’s ministry of foreign affairs’ first-ever public celebration of Diwali at the Taipei Guest House on November 13. This was in response to the appreciation Taiwan has got from India over the last couple of months. Its Covid-19 success has generated curiosity about Taiwan in India. The India-China standoff and China’s disregard for India’s territorial sovereignty and integrity has also contributed to this mutual appreciation and realisation of the need to urgently step up bilateral relations.

    This realisation is, however, more at the level of civil society than the State on the Indian side. Considering several diplomatic and strategic constraints, the scope for elevation in India-Taiwan ties has remained limited. The China factor has loomed large. Even though India has stopped mentioning its adherence to OneChina policy in joint statements and official documents since 2010, its engagement with Taiwan is still restricted due to the framework of ties with China.

    Foregoing relations with Taiwan for the hope of managing tensions with China has yielded little result. China’s aggression at the border front, its decades-old “all-weather friendship” with Pakistan including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, and denying New Delhi entry at the international platforms are examples of its uncompromising stance towards India. It is not surprising that China has not respected India’s clearly articulated sensitivities on these issues.

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