Taiwan reaches out to India


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Taiwan’s representative to India, Baushuan Ger, has praised the country as a protector of democracy that always stands up for justice, peace, and stability – and touted the “gargantuan untapped well” of mutually beneficial deals if New Delhi recognizes the island “in its own right.”“We need to join hands to fend off the expansion of autocracy,” because India “is just like Taiwan, standing at the forefront in the face of aggressive and belligerent authoritarian regimes,” Ger, the head of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in India, said in an interview with PTI on Sunday.“It is my sincere hope that India sees Taiwan in its own right,” Ger said, insisting that “closer collaboration between the two is not only desirable but necessary.”“We can and should collaborate more on cyber, space, maritime, green energy, food security and even tourism and gastronomy,” he explained, while alluding to the growing popularity of yoga and Bollywood movies in Taiwan as signs of cultural affinity.

New Delhi has no official diplomatic relations with Taipei, but like many countries, has a special body to promote informal interactions and business relations, the India-Taipei Association (ITA). Taiwan has been self-governed since 1949, when China’s nationalist government fled to the island following its defeat in the civil war. Only a handful of nations, mostly microstates, officially recognize it as an independent entity.While not openly calling on India to immediately abandon the One-China policy, Ger claimed that Beijing has misled the world into misinterpreting UNGA Resolution 2758, which recognized the People’s Republic of China as “the only legitimate representative of China to the United Nations.”Beijing has repeatedly warned that the principle of acknowledging the mainland’s claim of sovereignty over Taiwan is a red line in China’s relations with other countries that no one is allowed to cross. Following a provocative visit to the island by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the third most senior official in the US government, China pledged to “take necessary and resolute countermeasures.”

After Beijing conducted a series of large-scale military drills in areas around Taiwan, Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that New Delhi was “concerned” and “urged the exercise of restraint, avoidance of unilateral actions to change status quo, de-escalation of tensions and efforts to maintain peace and stability in the region.”“India’s relevant policies are well-known and consistent. They do not require reiteration,” he added, reaffirming but not directly mentioning the One-China principle.
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