Modi government changed important strategy on China? Fears of increased conflict
In Taiwan, when Sai Ing-wen took the oath of office for the second time on Wednesday, the congratulatory message of two BJP MPs was also shown in the ceremony. Both BJP MPs are among the representatives of 41 countries who sent a congratulatory message to the President of Taiwan.
India has always believed Beijing’s ‘One China Policy’ regarding Taiwan and has not established any diplomatic relations with it, but now there are signs of change in this policy. China considers Taiwan a part of the ‘one country two systems’ while Taiwan considers itself independent. Hong Kong is also part of China under this system.
BJP MPs Meenakshi Lekhi and Rahul Kaswan praised Taiwan’s democratic nature. In their shared message, BJP MPs said, India and Taiwan are two democratic countries and are associated with the same values as freedom, democracy, and human rights. In the last few years, India and Taiwan have strengthened bilateral relations through trade, investment, and people-to-people interaction.
The same day, Meenakshi Lekhi targeted China in a tweet. The Global Times, called the mouthpiece of the Chinese government, had said in an article that India is dreaming of replacing China.
Tweeting this article, the BJP MP replied, “The problem of the propaganda machinery of the Communist Party of China can be understood!” As far as replacing China is concerned, we neither need nor have any such desire to do so. India has its place in global history and it is claiming it again.
India has always been concerned that close ties with Taiwan may spoil relations with China. During the swearing-in ceremony of Sai in 2016, India had decided to send two MPs at the last minute. Since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, Taiwan has been completely self-governing. While Taiwan considers itself independent of China, China has been trying to merge it under one ‘one country, two systems’, considering it as a province.
China believes that the merger of Taiwan can also be done by force if needed. Not only this, but China also creates obstacles in the way of Taiwan’s participation in international organizations. Recently, when the demand for observer status to Taiwan arose in the World Health Organization, China opposed it. China says that Taiwan cannot be treated as a country.
According to Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA), because of the coronavirus epidemic this year, foreign guests were not invited to the event, so video recordings were sent from countries. 92 foreign delegates from 41 countries participated in Sai’s ceremony in which two MPs took part in India.
India was represented by Sohang Sen, acting director of the India-Taipei Association at the ceremony. India has no embassy in Taiwan. Of the 194 member countries of the United Nations, 179 countries do not have diplomatic relations with Taiwan, India is one of them. According to the CNA report, in 15 countries with ties to Taiwan, all except Vatican City sent video messages to the President of Taiwan.
Sai Ing-Wen has been reiterating that Taiwan is not a part of ‘One China’. He said, “We will not accept the suzerainty of China in the name of ‘one country, two system’ argument in which the status of Taiwan will be reduced.”
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In his speech after taking the oath of office, Sai said, “We have successfully resisted the pressure of occupation and aggression.” We have moved from dictatorship to democracy. There was a time when we were isolated in the whole world but despite all the challenges, we kept the values of democracy and freedom. There was also an immediate response from China after Sai’s statement. China said it would leave no room for Taiwan’s ‘independence’.
China openly opposes the government of Taiwan as well as those countries that try to support or strengthen its relationship with it. When the US Secretary of State congratulated President Sai Ing for praising Taiwan’s democratic values this week, China threatened to suffer the consequences.