Will China-Taiwan Tensions Following Pelosi’s Visit Have an Impact on India?
China has expressed its displeasure over US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s solo trip to Taiwan. India is keeping an eye on the situation but has not commented as it does not have formal diplomatic connections with Taiwan but does have commerce and people-to-people links.
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opted to visit Taiwan with a straightforward mission: to express her country’s support for the self-ruled nation that shares a sea border with China. Pelosi stated that her visit comes at a time when “the world faces a decision between autocracy and democracy.”
How Do Other Countries See It?
Russia condemned the visit as a provocation, declaring full support for ally China. “What is associated with this tour and a potential visit to Taiwan is pure provocation,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
The Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) stated in a statement that Islamabad is very concerned about the evolving situation in the Taiwan Strait, which has “severe repercussions for regional peace and stability.” “Because of the Ukraine conflict, the world is already in a grave security scenario, with destabilising repercussions for worldwide food and energy security. The world cannot afford another crisis that will have a severe impact on global peace, security, and the economy “Pakistan’s Foreign Office stated
Background of the Conflict:
Beijing ruled over Formosa, or Taiwan, until 1895, when it handed over power to Japan in the first Sino-Japanese war. After Japan lost the Second World War, China’s Nationalist forces, or Kuomintang, led by Chiang Kai Shek, recovered the island in 1945.
However, in 1949, China’s Communist Party, led by Mao Zedong, won control of Beijing and the rest of China in the People’s Revolution, while Chiang Kai Shek’s soldiers fled to Taiwan. For decades, the UN, the US, and other countries continued to recognise the ROC(Republic of China) rather than the PRC(People’s Republic of China), although India and many other countries recognised the PRC and the One China principle.
As US-China ties improved, the UN ousted the ROC and replaced it with the PRC in 1971. Even as the US affirmed the one-China policy in 1979, it passed the Taiwan Relations Act, which meant that the US would continue to help Taiwan defend itself, spending billions of dollars each year and selling weapons to Taipei.
Taiwan began democratisation in 1987 and held a presidential election in 1996, possibly positioning it as a counterweight to the Chinese system and increasing the distance between Taipei and Beijing. In 1954, 1958, and 1996, China and Taiwanese forces engaged in military conflict, dubbed the First, Second, and Third Taiwan Strait Crisis.
Indeed, after 25 years of relative calm, it is apparent that US-China tensions over Taiwan are rising, as is the likelihood of Chinese action to either contain or take control of Taiwan, and US anxieties have intensified since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. President Xi Jinping has stated that reunification with Taiwan must take place by 2021, yet he has stated that this will take place peacefully.
India’s Stand and Possible Impact:
India, like the US, adheres to the One China policy. Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, on the other hand, goes against this stance. Following the separation of China and Taiwan in 1949, the One-China policy only recognises China and denies the existence of Taiwan.
After Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao came to India in 2010, India, too, refused to reaffirm the One China Policy. India was irritated after China issued ‘stapled visas’ instead of regular visas to Jammu and Kashmir people travelling to China. Despite this, and the ongoing tensions along the LAC, India has chosen not to comment on the incident, fearing that any word will exacerbate tensions “according to sources.
Meanwhile, India has maintained constant contact with Taiwan and has prioritised commerce. Following the Galwan skirmishes in 2020, Gourangalal Das (then joint secretary (Americas) in the Ministry of External Affairs) was appointed as India’s ambassador to Taiwan.
Though India does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, New Delhi maintains a diplomatic office in Taipei called the India Taipei Association (ITA), which is directed by a senior diplomat, and Taiwan maintains the Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre (TECC) in New Delhi. Both were founded in 1995.
Chung-Kwang Tien, Taiwan’s ambassador, was invited to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s inauguration ceremony in 2014. Meanwhile, bilateral trade between India and Taiwan is expanding. “In 2002, India and Taiwan signed a bilateral investment agreement (BIA), which became effective in 2005. Bilateral trade between India and Taiwan increased by 185%, from $2 billion in 2006 to $7 billion in 2020. Taiwan received $698.6 million in FDI from India between 2000 and 2021 “according to sources
In comparison, India’s commercial ties with China are enormous: From less than $20 billion in 2005 to $130 billion last year, relations have been strained for a variety of reasons, which has impacted India’s articulation of the One-China policy.
According to media reports, TMSC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) has a 54 percent market share and Taiwan alone is in charge of 63 percent of the global semiconductor business. Taiwan is a sizable supplier of semiconductors to well-known technological firms and automobiles all around the world. In contrast, South Korea owns a 17 percent market share, China produces 6% of the world’s semiconductors, and the remaining 13 percent is made up of other nations.
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