Taipei: – While China is issuing threats of aggression, Taiwan has taken rapid steps to strengthen relations with a democratic country like India. Taiwan has announced a new policy to reduce its dependence on China and the threats perceived because of that. As per received indications, India has been awarded the special status in the new policy. Senior Taiwanese leaders have issued statements in this respect, and it has been revealed that there has been a positive response from India too. Media has published that India has started preparations to sign a trade agreement with Taiwan. China had tried to threaten India over the response to the Taiwanese National Day a few days ago. Against this background, the steps taken by India and Taiwan draw attention.
Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu and Deputy Foreign Minister Tien Chung-Kwang, underlined the special status of India in the New Southbound Policy, during an interview. Foreign Minister Wu, during an interview with an Indian news channel, said, mentioning QUAD, that efforts for strengthening ties with a democratic and like-minded country like India have been started. Deputy Foreign Minister Tien Chung-Kwang praised India saying, ‘India is an ideally suited place for Taiwanese industry. The geographically important location of India, plentiful availability of workforce and the democratic system become the decisive factors. The winds of change are flowing in India. Against the background of the Coronavirus pandemic, India has taken cognisance of the Taiwanese performance as compared to China. The statement of Deputy Foreign Minister Tien Chung-Kwang becomes essential as he has functioned as the Taiwanese ambassador to India.
The new Taiwanese Ambassador to India, Baushuan Ger, also asserted that India and Taiwan would emerge as strong partners in the Indo-Pacific region in the times to come. He also claimed that India and Taiwan are natural and reliable allies. Against the background of the statements issued by the Taiwanese leaders, India too, has indicated a positive response. The media reported that moves for a trade agreement with Taiwan have started in the Indian political circles.
The movements in the Indian political circles gained momentum following the Galwan valley conflict with China four months ago. Following this conflict, India has initiated steps to reduce its dependence on China. These include sanctions against the import of Chinese goods, along with a ban on Chinese companies. India is allowing entry for Taiwanese companies in specific important sectors to stop the Chinese influence. Currently, Taiwanese companies have an investment of USD 2.3 billion, and the bilateral trade with India is USD 7.2 billion.
Sources claimed that it would be a significant political victory for Taiwan if India starts trade talks with Taiwan. A few weeks ago, even the United States had indicated starting trade talks with Taiwan. After that, a US delegation comprising of senior officials had even visited Taiwan.