While Trump endorses ‘One China policy’, India adopts strategy to keep Taiwan engaged

NEW DELHI: Even as US President Donald Trump endorsed One China Policy during his recent phone call with Xi Jinping, India has adopted strategy to keep Taiwan engaged by inviting a parliamentary delegation, a move that is likely to raise eyebrows in Beijing.

A women’s parliamentary delegation is undertaking a trip to India from Monday, the first such visit since the new government took charge in Taipei in 2016, Taiwan’s representative to India Chung Kwang Tien told ET. India does not have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan but maintains a cultural-economic office in Taipei and vice-versa with Taiwan.

The women’s parliamentary delegation from Taiwan will visit India to engage with their counterparts and tour the parliament complex on February 13. High-level visits from India to Taiwan and vice-versa are not very frequent and therefore this trip by the MP-level delegation to India is significant.

Last Wednesday, India and Taiwan marked the first anniversary of the formation of the Taiwan-India Parliamentarians’ Friendship Forum here. It may be recalled that Chung was also invited for Modi’s inauguration in May 2014 along with the PM of the Tibetan-government-in-exile.

Taiwan last year adopted the New Southbound Policy that seeks to engage proactively with six South Asian nations, including India, the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Australia and New Zealand.

Chung said that India was “not one of the, but the most” important country for this new policy of Taiwan.

He also pointed out that bilateral trade between India and Taiwan increased five times since 2000 to reach $7 billion in 2014. Taiwanese investments are also rising in India across sectors including steel, telecom and information technology.

Stating that 1,143 Indian students were studying in Taiwan as of last year, he said the East Asian nation, officially called the Republic of China, will offer scholarships to talented Indian students from this year.

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Speaking at the last Wednesday’s event, Lok Sabha MP from Sikkim PD Rai said that there were a lot of things in common between India and Taiwan

He said that if the two countries engaged with each other more actively, the bilateral trade figure of $7 billion could be easily surpassed.

Meanwhile, persons and experts familiar with US-China relations told ET that interesting times are ahead notwithstanding Trump’s endorsement of One China Policy as the US President had invited his Taiwanese counterpart to visit America, and if the visit indeed takes place, it will irk Beijing. Simultaneously, Washington is giving signals of maintaining its strategic interest in East Asia and the Pacific region.

Source:- ET
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