Modi’s Foreign Policy with regards to India-China relations and its impacts on Taiwan

Modi’s Foreign Policy with regards to India-China relations and its impacts on Taiwan

India – China Relations overview

India & China has always remained competitive especially in the past few decades. However both being developing countries and major economies, they collaborate on a wide range of issues and show a united face in major forums but however, the relationship has its own share of issues.

China wants to topple the United States as the sole superpower and wants to take over the world and is using a mix of Economic, Military and historical strategies such as OBOR / BRI, CPEC, Gwadar Port, Hambantota Port, String of Pearls strategy, Nine-dash line, South China sea etc. These are major flash points between India & China, not to mention the border disputes simmering over many decades (Recent doklam dispute) and its continued support to India’s arch-rival and China’s all-weather friend Pakistan in providing Nuclear technology, missiles, and fighters etc.

Also, India is not pleased with CPEC passing through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) which is sovereign Indian territory, China’s continued stand to prevent the listing of JeM Terrorist Masood Azhar in UN Security Council and also its efforts to prevent India from gaining membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) among others.

China, on the other hand, is dissatisfied with India’s opposition to endorse the Belt Road Initiative and even on the recently concluded Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), India was the only country which refused to endorse the BRI and it’s very much annoyed over India’s military cooperation with countries such as Vietnam, Philippines,Indonesia etc which have territorial disputes with China and is very much bothered by the talks of India joining the Quadrilateral Security dialogue (simply quad) comprising of USA, Australia & Japan and India’s refusal to endorse the One China Policy from 2010.

Modi’s foreign Policy & its impact on Taiwan

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is an astute politician and a great statesman and is working overtime to improve the image of India internationally and wants to make India as one of the great power in the world and is making an unprecedented diplomatic outreach. After coming to power in 2014, within a short span of 4 years time. Modi and its ministers have reached out to 186 of the 192 countries with “unprecedented outreach and unparalleled outcomes” as quoted by External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.

Modi’s foreign policy is also popularly called “The Modi Doctrine”, encompasses many cultural, economical and Military strategies. India like China has its own Maritime Silk Route (MSR), International North-South Transit corridor, Chabahar port development in Iran and military access to important ports such as Duqm, Sabang etc and it has numerous defense and maritime cooperation with countries in the Indo-Pacific region through its Act East Policy.

India has refused to endorse the One-China Principle in any joint public statements from 2010 because of China’s disregard for India’s territorial sovereignty in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) for its CPEC & BRI programs and numerous territorial violations along the India-China border from Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh. In a way, India’s refusal to endorse the One China Principle publically is good for Taiwan in case it wants to push for formal independence.

Recent Bonhomie between India & China & its impact on Taiwan

After the Doklam dispute and China blocking of India’s membership in the NSG and China vetoed the listing of JeM terrorist Masood Azhar in UN security council relation, India – China relations have been stained severely and China suspended sharing of Hydrological data of Brahmaputra river with India and the Hand-in-Hand military training between both the armies were also suspended last year.

Recently, Narendra Modi traveled to China for an informal summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping to reset India-China ties amidst global issues and uncertainties especially with US President Donald Trump waging a Trade war with allies and foes alike, which severely impact both India & China. Both India & China being developing major economies wanted to fight global protectionism spearheaded by Trump.

Another major reason for the reset in ties is for the successful conduct of the SCO summit which was recently hosted in China for the first time after both India & Pakistan became full members. Even during the informal summit, it seems India refused the request of China to endorse the One China Principle replying that India wants its sovereignty to be respected first.

It is unlikely that any India-China rapprochement will have any adverse impacts on Taiwan. Though India may provide some concessions for China from time to time, India is very wary of Chinese activities and unlikely to support Beijing in its activities.

However, If Taiwan wants to improve relations with India and gain formal recognition, Taiwan needs to improve its Military and Economic cooperation with India multifold. India – Taiwan trade is minuscule comparing to that of India-China trade, and it needs to be increased by multifold and provide lots of investments so India couldn’t afford to lose Taiwanese investments and their economic relationship.

If Taiwan wants to push for formal Independence and gain diplomatic recognition from UN Member countries, their economic partnership must be comparable to that of Chinese, at least with major countries such as India.

Raghu Chinnannan

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