Is China unnerved by India’s possible trade ties with Taiwan?
China claims Taiwan as its inalienable part
As India-China standoff on the Line of Actual Control is not witnessing any progress towards complete disengagement, Beijing is rattled that New Delhi could play Taiwan card to mount a psychological pressure on it. This is apparent from the way Chinese the Foreign Ministry spokesperson has reacted to possible trade talks by India with Taiwan to increase the momentum of engagement between the two sides.
“China is firmly opposed to any official exchanges of any form and the signing of any agreement of official nature between Taiwan and any country having diplomatic relations with China,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian in a press briefing yesterday.
He further asked the Indian side to earnestly abide by the one-China principle and handle the Taiwan question prudently and properly.
While the Indian side is yet to start any trade deal with Taiwan, earlier this month, the Indian government approved firms including Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group, Wistron Corp., and Pegatron Corp. as it looks to attract investment worth more than 10.5 trillion rupees ($143 billion) for smartphone production over five years.
India and Taiwan had signed an updated bilateral investment agreement in a bid to further expand economic ties in 2018. Trade between them grew 18% to $7.2 billion in 2019, according to India’s Department of Commerce.
Amid reports of India planning to deepen its engagement with Taiwan, unnerved China has asked New Delhi to approach Taiwan related issues prudently, indicating it categorically that Beijing has got apprehensive of a move India may take to make China run for cover.
“The one-China principle is the common consensus of the international community, including India, and also serves as the political foundation for China to develop relations with any other country,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said, reiterating that there is only one China and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory.
This is not the first time that China has claimed its territory in Taiwan. It has now gained expertise in reiterating the fact that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. Earlier this month, the Chinese embassy in New Delhi advised the Indian media against felicitation of Taiwan National day with similar claims.
However, Taiwan came in support of India and asked China to mind its own business. A tweet by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign affairs had read, “India is the largest democracy on Earth with a vibrant press & freedom-loving people. But it looks like communist #China is hoping to march into the subcontinent by imposing censorship. Taiwan's Indian friends will have one reply: GET LOST! JW"
The Taiwan foreign ministry's Twitter bio states all tweets initialed "JW" are from the foreign minister.