India-Taiwan Relations

India-Taiwan Relations

Context: The recent elections in Taiwan, amid heightened tensions with China over the One China Policy, have drawn attention worldwide and in India too.

India-Taiwan relations
• India does not officially recognize Taiwan as a separate sovereign state, adhering to the “One-China” policy.
• The \'One-China\' policy acknowledges the People\'s Republic of China (PRC) as the only legitimate government representing the entirety of China, including Taiwan.
• But, India and Taiwan maintain robust economic and people-topeople ties.
• Since 2019, there has been a growing awareness of the need for a recalibrated approach towards Taiwan because of worsening IndiaChina Relations primary since the border clashes and China’s assertive regional stance prompted India to diversify its foreign policy and strategic partnerships.

Economic co-operation
• Bilateral trade between India and Taiwan has witnessed a rise, from US $1.19 billion in 2001 to US $8.45 billion in 2022.
• Taiwanese companies have made substantial investments in India, contributing to economic growth. The key sectors include electronics, information technology, and manufacturing. These investments has help foster technology transfer and industrial development.

People-to-people ties
• Both countries encourage educational and cultural exchanges. Indian students pursue higher education in Taiwan, and various cultural events and programs contribute to strengthening people-to-people ties. These interactions foster a better understanding of each other\'s societies and values.

Science & Technology Cooperation
• An MOU on Scientific and Technological Cooperation was signed in 2007, resulting in 115 projects, joint proposals, and 25 agriculture, healthcare, and disaster management seminars.

Diplomatic Engagement
• While New Delhi does not have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan. However, Taiwan has identified India as a top priority under its New Southbound Policy, focussing on trade, commerce, economic cooperation, talent exchange, resource sharing and regional connectivity.

Strategic Partners
• Both India and Taiwan perceive China as a threat, and seek to boost and strengthen their strategic partnership and cooperation

What are the challenges in India-Taiwan relations?
• One-China Policy: As India adheres to the \'One-China\' policy, recognizing the People\'s Republic of China as the legitimate government. This stance limits the scope for official diplomatic relations between India and Taiwan. India maintains a representative office called the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center (TECC) in Taiwan, while Taiwan has the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in India.
• Barriers to Economic Collaboration: Economic collaboration and investment opportunities have been constrained by inadequate comprehension of local markets, corruption issues, tax regulations, and linguistic and cultural barriers.

Way Forward
• Given Taiwan\'s prowess in technology and innovation, there is potential for increased collaboration with India, especially in sectors like electronics, information technology, and renewable energy. Joint ventures and research initiatives could contribute to mutual growth.
• India should designate Taiwan as a consultative partner in its Make in India initiative. Simultaneously, Taiwan should also proactively contribute to its South Asian Silicon Valley development project under the Digital India initiative.
• The collaboration during the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the potential for further cooperation in global health and innovation.
• India needs to balance China’s growing influence in the region. Building a closer relationship with Taiwan could be a strategic hedge against China’s dominance.

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