Sovereignty is the crucial aspect of any State, and Taiwan (the Republic of China) is no exception from specific claims. Taiwan is one of the democratic nations that functions on a popular mandate and guided by certain principles enshrined in its constitution. The country is born as a product of the Chinese civil war and maintains hostility to its communist counterpart.
The major political unrest in Taiwan is the relationship with Communist-ruled China. The two rival nations didn’t develop Mobility by which it becomes hard for Businessmen who have Industries on the other side. Despite such odds, the Taiwan economy is doing pretty well.
On the other side, the Republic of China has maintained a good relation with India and, in a few areas, supported Mainland China against India. The diplomatic relations with India started growing after 1990. The economic reforms further strengthened the relations and also deepened the economic ties after that.
From ancient days trade and commerce prevailed between the two nations. Both nations admire and respect their ancient civilizational past and continue the spirit to date.
Religion has also glued the people of two different sections, with Buddhism being the most followed religion in the country, having its roots in India.
Democracy is the key aspect while Taiwan is governed by the principles enshrined in its constitution, like the same is applied in Indian political discourse.
CHANGING DIPLOMATIC AFFAIRS:
In the background of Mainland China’s massive influence in South Asia through the Belt and Road Initiative and India’s massive trade deficit with the Chinese Mainland, a broader cultural and business partnership between Taiwan and India could prove to be a win-win for both. “said Saheli chataraj noted alumni of China studies amidst the growing tensions between India and China.
India has also changed its traditional diplomacy way through significant policy decisions like Starting from “Look East” to “Act East” policy. This theme is originated from the idea of reaching out to new friends.
Similar to India’s act east policy, Taiwan is also working on New Southbound Policy, which is aiming at India to further the diplomatic relations.
Tsai Ing-wen was democratically re-elected as president of Taiwan in a landslide victory, with a comfortable majority for her Democratic Progressive Party. Tsai and the DPP focus on the areas to decrease Taipei’s dependence on Beijing and diversify its trade and investment partners.
Taiwan’s export-oriented economy and interest in properly diversifying traditional investment targets under the NSP make India a natural collaborator. However, any such collaboration will have to consider sensitivities linked to the India-China relationship and India’s adherence to the ‘One-China’ policy.
However, both nations’ economic interests and economic exchange are still stagnant and require a push from either side. Bilateral trade is approximately 1 % of the total trade for both nations. Entrepreneurs complain about the long-drawn review process, red-tapism, non-availability, and one-time banking clearance to bring in India’s capital investment.
The PRC’s growing influence in the region has become a medium to bring India and Taiwan’s strategic communities closer to their security interests. Any nation, for that matter, doesn’t compromise on its security.
Taiwan can further consolidate its National Identity, and India can ensure freedom of unrestricted navigation in the South China Sea and further concretely expand its gas and oil exploration activities in the region. Taiwan sees itself as a necessary member of the Asia-Pacific region and accepted its obligation to contribute to regional stability, peace, and prosperity, which also makes India’s diplomatic agenda.
The border tensions between India and China are still alive in the Ladakh region and North Sikkim across the Line of Actual Control (LAC), and the clash between the troops made the situation more worsen. Indian warfare and strategy have much developed that the Chinese forces cant make advancements inside the Indian territory.
This is a perfect time to enter talks with Taiwan and engage with meaningful dialogue. This might be moving to more public discussions about a possible asymmetric diplomatic strategy to challenge China, such as altering “One China Policy” to enhance India’s relations with Taiwan. India shall reconsider its policy.
Recently India has appointed its new envoy to Taiwan, Gourangalal Das, who earlier worked as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs. This will undoubtedly change the mindset of china, and many observers see this aggressive move as a Signal to China.
The AEP and NSP give India and Taiwan immense space to cooperate and further strengthen ties. Taiwan’s specialization in machinery, electronics, and technology can add value to India’s agriculture and healthcare sectors, solar power, smart city projects, and the ambitious Make in India initiative.
Taipei is already proactive in its approach to India. India must similarly consider the importance of loosening its constraints and adopting a more pragmatic approach.
The new pacts and deals between Taiwan and India now aim further to deepen their economic social, cultural and security ties to establish peace and stability in the region. The collaboration with the US and EU is potential enough for new allies to take on the old rival if any uncertainties pertain. At the same time, Mutual concerns, Geographical conflicts make a potential threat to healthy relations and need to be settled with bilateral dialogue.
It would be interesting to see how the Indian Government and Modi’s administration will be reacting to the changing Geopolitical situations in the Asian continent. It is still a million-dollar question whether India is willing to display its consent for an Independent Taiwan Nation or maintain unofficial diplomatic ties playing a safe game.