China opposes India-Taiwan trade ties


Worth Noting:

  • A trade deal with Taiwan would help India’s goal of seeking greater investments in technology and electronics, the official said, adding that it’s unclear when a final decision would be made on whether to start talks.
  • India and Taiwan in 2018 signed an updated bilateral investment agreement in a bid to further expand economic ties. Trade between them grew 18% to $7.2 billion in 2019, according to India’s Department of Commerce.
  • China asked India to approach ties with Taiwan prudently and properly and said it would firmly oppose any official exchanges between India and Taipei.

Support is growing within India’s government to formally start talks on a trade deal with Taiwan as both democracies see relations with China deteriorate.

Taiwan has sought trade talks with India for several years, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has been reluctant to move ahead because it would involve a messy fight with China once any pact is registered at the World Trade Organization, according to a senior Indian government official who asked not be named, citing rules for speaking with the media.

A trade deal with Taiwan would help India’s goal of seeking greater investments in technology and electronics, the official said, adding that it’s unclear when a final decision would be made on whether to start talks.

Narendra Modi’s government gave approval to firms including Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group, Wistron Corp. and Pegatron Corp. as he looks to attract investment worth more than 10.5 trillion rupees ($143 billion) for smartphone production over five years.

Any formal talks with India would amount to a big win for Taiwan, which has struggled to begin trade negotiations with most major economies due to pressure from China.

India and Taiwan in 2018 signed an updated bilateral investment agreement in a bid to further expand economic ties. Trade between them grew 18% to $7.2 billion in 2019, according to India’s Department of Commerce.

India should remain committed to the One China principle and approach Taiwan related issues prudently and properly; Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a daily briefing in Beijing. There is only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. One China Principle is a universal consensus of the international community, India included.

Indian public sentiment toward China has fallen in the wake of deadly border clashes between the two neighbors starting in May. Narendra Modi’s government has since banned dozens of Chinese apps including TikTok, while also speaking with Japan, Australia and the U.S. about creating alternative supply chains to diversify away from China in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Taiwan’s successful handling of the pandemic, is translating into a soft power opportunity for Tsai. Taiwan’s 24 million have seen fewer than 600 infections and only seven deaths.

We have to think about the way for democracies, for likeminded countries, to work further together, Taiwan foreign minister Joseph Wu said. We have traditional good relations with the United States, with Japan, and we want to develop closer ties with India as well.

China’s Communist Party, which claims Taiwan as its territory despite having never ruled it, has pushed back against the Tsai administration’s overtures to India.

We urge relevant Indian media to adhere to the correct position with regard to the significant core interests of China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, Ji Rong, a spokesperson for China’s embassy in New Delhi, said in a statement. Indian media, Ji Rong continued, should not provide ‘Taiwan independence’ forces a platform, so as to avoid sending the wrong message.

China asked India to approach ties with Taiwan prudently and properly and said it would firmly oppose any official exchanges between India and Taipei.

The statement from China’s Foreign Ministry came in response to reports that India and Taiwan were considering going forward with talks on a trade deal. India and Taiwan in 2018 already signed a bilateral investment agreement. India-Taiwan trade ties have expanded since and Taiwanese firms are prominent investors in India, although India and Taiwan do not maintain formal diplomatic relations.

The ‘One China principle’ is a universal consensus of the international community, including India, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a daily briefing, when asked about the report on trade talks.

It is also the political basis for China to develop ties with other countries. So, we firmly oppose any official exchanges between countries having diplomatic ties with China and Taiwan or signing any official documents. The Indian side should remain committed to the ‘One China principle’ and approach Taiwan related issues prudently and properly,Zhao Lijiansaid.

China reacted guardedly to India’s announcement that Australia will join next month’s Malabar naval exercise with India, Japan and the United States.

In a terse statement, Zhao Lijiansaid, we have taken note of this development. We always believe that military cooperation between countries should be conducive to regional peace and stability.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said it had lodged a protest with the United States, over a meeting in Washington between Assistant Secretary Robert Destro of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, who has been appointed as a special coordinator for Tibetan issues, with LobsangSangay, the head of the GovernmentinExile in Dharamsala.

The appointment of the special coordinator for Tibetan issues is a political move to interfere in China’s internal affairs and sabotage Xizang’s (Tibet’s) stability, Zhao Lijiansaid.

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