Context:

India received assistance from Taiwan including oxygen concentrators and cylinders, with more batches of medical equipment set to follow from Taipei.

A first batch, consisting of 50 oxygen concentrators and 500 oxygen cylinders, landed in New Delhi on Sunday on a Boeing 747 of China Airlines, the government-owned airline of Taiwan.

Relevance:

GS-II: International Relations (India’s Neighbors, International Developments and Policies affecting India’s Interests)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Taiwan
  2. India’s Taiwan Dilemma
  3. China’s Position on Taiwan
  4. India’s Position on Taiwan
    • About Taiwan’s Assistance

About Taiwan

  • Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a state in East Asia.
  • The island of Taiwan has the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to the north-west, Japan to the north-east, and the Philippines to the south.
  • Taipei is the capital of Taiwan.

India’s Taiwan Dilemma

  • The U.S. has, in the recent past, accused WHO of acting as a “PR agency” for China during the pandemic.
  • A seven-nation virtual meeting of Foreign Ministers was convened by U.S. which appeared to be part of Washington’s efforts to gain support for its move to effect changes at the WHO.
  • U.S. Senate passed an act to regain observer status for Taiwan in the World Health Organization.
  • India is likely to hold the post for the next three years. The timing of the appointment is crucial, given the worldwide debate on the role of the WHO during the pandemic, and criticism of the current WHO Director.

China’s Position on Taiwan

  • China has also stepped-up warnings on any attempt to include or support Taiwan’s role at the WHA.
  • Chine referred to the “One-China” principle as “a widely accepted universal consensus of the international community including the Indian government.”
  • China asserts that there is only “One China” and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of it.
  • China put forward a formula, known as “one country, two systems”, under which both Beijing and Taipei agree that Taiwan belongs to China, while the two still disagree on which entity is China’s legitimate governing body.
  • China also stated its right to use “non-peaceful means” against Taiwan if it tried to secede from China.

India’s Position on Taiwan

  • The MEA declined to comment on whether Taiwan was discussed during the meeting, or whether India has decided on supporting the US on its move to include Taiwan as a WHA participant.
  • India recognises only the People’s Republic of China (in mainland China) and not the Republic of China’s claims of being the legitimate government of Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau – a conflict that emerged after the Chinese Civil War (1945–49).
  • The United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, Pakistan and Japan have formally adopted the One China policy, under which the People’s Republic of China is theoretically the sole legitimate government of China.
  • India and Taiwan do not have formal diplomatic relations but since 1995, both sides have maintained representative offices in each other’s capitals that function as de facto embassies. India has backed the “one-China policy”.
  • India finds it difficult to realise the full potential of its bilateral relationship with Taiwan. At present, about 15 countries worldwide continue to recognise Taiwan as an independent state. India is not among the sixteen countries.
  • Taiwan is an important geographical entity in the Indo-Pacific region. India’s vision of the Indo-Pacific is inclusive and it must encourage the participation of Taiwan and other like-minded countries.
  • India is already a major focus country in Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy, launched in 2016. Under this, Taiwan aims to increase its international profile by expanding political, economic, and people-to-people linkages.
  • Taiwan’s reputation as the world leader in semiconductor and electronics complements India’s leadership in ITES (Information Technology-Enabled Services).

About Taiwan’s Assistance

  • The aid reflects the growing engagement between India and Taiwan, especially against the backdrop of the standoff with China on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and China’s aggressive actions across the region, including repeated violations of Taiwan’s airspace.
  • India, meanwhile, has not yet accepted China’s offers of aid and assistance and has preferred to source medical supplies from China on a commercial basis.

-Source: The Hindu

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