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Rattled by Taiwan, China wants world to follow One China policy

Rattled by Taiwan, China wants world to follow One China policy

For China, it is déjà vu as it gets a taste of its own medicine now with India and Taiwan looking to work on closer economic and trade ties. The Narendra Modi government is set to have formal talks on trade with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. The latter has adopted a tough stand against China.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that the One China principle is a common consensus of the international fraternity including India, serving as a political foundation for Beijing to develop relations with other countries.

Foreign policy analysts said that while China has been trying to put pressure on India so that the latter slows down its engagements with Taipei, New Delhi must remain firm in chalking out new bilateral relations, including measures that would expand trade ties.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in a tweet wrote, “Many countries even as holding that there is only one China and Taiwan as a part of that China, have been trading with Taiwan with no objection from Beijing. Hence I am surprised that today China is objecting to India discussing trade with Taiwan.”

In the last few months, the belligerent China, which has had little respect for other countries’ sovereignty, has only upped its ante increasing its pressure tactic on India. It opened up its borders in Sikkim, Ladakh and Uttarakhand through Nepal. In June, Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli, who incidentally is from the Nepal Communist Party and is known to be close to Chinese President Xi Jinping, even redrew its country’s map, featuring Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura in it. New Delhi believes that Nepal has been receiving tacit support from Beijing.

The list of such instances is long.

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<strong>Relations between New Delhi and Beijing nosedive</strong>

Brahma Chellany, geo-strategist and author, in a tweet said, “China said India must ‘remain committed to one-China principle and approach Taiwan-related issues prudently and properly.’ In the absence of China’s commitment to one-India principle, why should India stick to a one-China policy? Taiwan is to India what Pakistan is to China.”

The deterioration of India-China relations, especially after the Galwan Valley clash, has had a severe economic impact.

In 2017-18, India’s inward shipment from China accounted for 16.4 per cent of its total import basket. In 2009-10, the figure was just 10.7 per cent. In 2018-19 imports from China accounted for 13.69 per cent but India’s dependence of imported goods from China is well documented.

For China, losing even a share of the vast Indian market could mean a big blow. The dragon has been India’s top trading partner between 2013-14 and 2017-18. Only in 2019-20, the US surpassed China to become India’s top partner.

India recorded a trade deficit of Rs 152.88 billion in 2019-20 and Rs 184 billion in 2018-19.

Shakti Sinha, former bureaucrat and director at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Policy Research and International Studies, told IndiaNarrative.com that New Delhi must aim to cement its relations with Taipei. “Taiwan is a developed economy and a powerhouse of technology and we must establish good relations with the country,” Sinha pointed out. “Over the last few months, China’s focus on Taiwan has increased and the recent development (China’s military threat over Taiwan) is not isolated. It is also a way to give a message to the world and of course India.”

Thousands of Indian traders, who hitherto sourced their goods from China, have already started to warm up to other countries including Taiwan, Vietnam and South Korea. The Modi government’s call for an Atmanirbhar Bharat and ‘Vocal for Local’ scheme to promote domestic manufacturers has also rattled the dragon.

On October 10, Taiwan’s national day, thousands of Indians took to the social media to commemorate the occasion.

In Taiwan’s "new southbound policy" India features prominently.