India's Taiwan Snub

Neil

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On April 23, Taiwanese Prime Minister Wu Den-yih announced that the KMT government wanted to make India and Indonesia priorities for manufacturing investment. Although Taiwan has thus far invested about US$ 310 billion in China, US$ 57 billion in South-east Asia and only US $ 1 billion in India (mostly through small enterprises), the announcement was ignored by India's economist-led government.

Except for the six years when the BJP was in office (1998-2004) and an effort to reach out by the Narasimha Rao-led team in 1993 (which ironically was rebuffed by Taipei), all governments in India have kept Taiwan at arms length, afraid of annoying Beijing.

Even today, while countries such as Singapore and Malaysia (neither of which could be termed hostile to China) allow the Taiwanese diplomatic 'representative' in their capitals to meet even with cabinet ministers, in India the Taiwanese have to remain satisfied with meetings at a much lower level--a joint secretary to the Indian government (a position four rungs lower than the highest in the civil service, which itself ranks below the most junior ministerial position). In contrast, the Indian representative in Taipei has access even to President Ma Ying-jeou, should he be given permission by nervous mandarins in Delhi.


Although a Double Taxation Agreement has been discussed by both sides for six years (dating from when the BJP was in office), and was initialled two years ago, thus far it hasn't actually been signed due to fears in South Block (the home of the External Affairs Ministry) that China would look askance at the development (one senior official told me disgustedly that it will likely only get signed after China and Taiwan sign the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement).

Another essential policy action (for enhancing investment) that has remained on the back burner for five years is the Taiwanese request that a branch of their mission be opened in Chennai, a southern city where the bulk of Taiwanese investment in India has been clustered, and preferably also in Ahmedabad, the capital of a BJP-run state whose chief minister (Narendra Modi) has made Taiwanese investment a priority.

South Block has also ignored promptings that a second office of the Indian mission be opened in the Taiwanese manufacturing city of Kaohsiung so as to attract more investment into India. According to another official, this is unlikely unless the Chinese 'informally' give their consent. Interestingly, despite its importance as a production hub, authorities in India have discouraged Indian delegations from venturing to Kaohsiung, even though both chemical and petrochemical units there are looking at setting up plants in India. Here the reason seems to be the hold that some Indian corporates have on Indian policymakers.

Although Taiwan has a well-developed banking and finance industry, thus far only the Chinatrust Bank has been allowed to set up an office in Delhi, and it hasn't been able to venture elsewhere, although all but two of its fifty officers are Indian citizens, including the country head. This is in contrast to the favoured treatment shown by the Reserve Bank of India (an institution known for its Anglophile ways) to Western banks, many of whom have become involved in the financing of speculative activities.

Only the Education Ministry is fighting the policy of ignoring Taiwan. It has recently allowed Indian universities to recognize Taiwanese degrees, thus opening the door to the tens of thousands of Indian students who want a foreign education but can't afford to go to the US or the UK. Sadly, despite Taiwan's attractiveness as a gateway to the west coast of the US, thus far the Ministry of Civil Aviation has ignored Taipei (as it has the fact that flights from Europe to India are priced higher than those from Europe to East Asia). Indeed, the only airline flying directly to Taiwan from India, China Airlines, prices a Delhi-Taipei ticket more expensively than it does one from Taipei to Los Angeles.

During the period (2004-2009) when the Manmohan Singh government depended on the two (very pro-Beijing) communist parties for its majority, this placing of the relationship with Taiwan on hold could be explained away as a reaction to pressure from pro-China parties. However, since the last general election that excuse no longer holds, as the government has a majority.

Clearly, those seeking a relationship between India and Taiwan that parallels the relationship between the island and the South-east Asian tigers may need to wait until the Chinese leadership finally gives permission to South Block to engage vigorously with Taipei.


http://the-diplomat.com/indian-decade/2010/06/27/why-india-snubs-taiwan/
 

Yusuf

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I am doing my bit for Taiwan. I import from Taiwan.

But yes over the years India has been wary of doing any business with Taiwan. May be the trend was set after the 62 war and Nehru and successive govts pussy footing. When China itself can do business with Taiwan, there is nothing to worry about for India too.
 

SHASH2K2

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I strongly support move to have good economic and p0litical relationship with Taiwan.
It will also send a strong signal to chinese that India is not going to accept their patronage for Pakistan and will pay them back in better manner.
 

Yusuf

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I would not even look at sending any message to anyone. Taiwan is very strong both technically and economically. India can gain from it. I just see Indias interest in doing biz with Taiwan rather than sending any message to anyone.
 

Neil

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i think INDIA is being over cautious about relation with TAIWAN....it can send a strong signal to china that INDIA places its interest first and china's concerns second.....
 

SHASH2K2

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when you gain politically as well while gaining economically there is no harm in it . Killing two birds using one stone.Moreover do chinese think twice before issuing stapled visa to kashmiris ?
 

Agantrope

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I strongly support move to have good economic and p0litical relationship with Taiwan.
It will also send a strong signal to chinese that India is not going to accept their patronage for Pakistan and will pay them back in better manner.
No politics here, We people are need to have access to technology which was denied for decades, Taiwan can play that role in this. No message nothing BS.
 

Agantrope

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when you gain politically as well while gaining economically there is no harm in it . Killing two birds using one stone.Moreover do chinese think twice before issuing stapled visa to kashmiris ?
Whatever it may be, we will be on the foot of chinese, GoI cant stand upto the Chinese clout.
 

SHASH2K2

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Whatever it may be, we will be on the foot of chinese, GoI cant stand upto the Chinese clout.
don't you think its too harsh comment? we are smaller economical power but its not so small that we need to be on their feet.Moreover in past year or so Govt of India has upped the ante but still a long way to go . Hope we keep the momentum going.
 

tarunraju

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Taiwanese entrepreneurs can always use the Hong Kong route to investing in India. Hong Kong SAR pretty much acts as a buffer for Taiwanese companies to access economies that are politically out of reach.
 

Neil

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Whatever it may be, we will be on the foot of chinese, GoI cant stand upto the Chinese clout.
if GoI does not have capacity to stand against china then the people of INDIA will....what are u and I for....??!!
 

Agantrope

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if GoI does not have capacity to stand against china then the people of INDIA will....what are u and I for....??!!
Government is the representative of the people. we are not in middle of any war as i was talking about the economy might.

Chinese economy clout is strongly represent in the Taiwan so is this.

Indeed labour charges are 12-13 times lower than what people used to get paid in their when compared here.
 

Singh

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if GoI does not have capacity to stand against china then the people of INDIA will....what are u and I for....??!!
Err.
1. Where did we bow down to China ? Don't mistake our failure to exploit a situation with bowing down.
2. Educate your fellow citizens. Half of India has not heard of Taiwan. And I am being kind.
 

EagleOne

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Whatever it may be, we will be on the foot of chinese, GoI cant stand upto the Chinese clout.
how can u say that ..
we have lost the war but didnt kneel,and the present the scenario is entirely different now, we have no need to be on the foot of chinese ,or some one else
in case war occur both will sutain severe losses but i can strongly say there is no need to under the foot of some one
 
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Neil

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Government is the representative of the people. we are not in middle of any war as i was talking about the economy might.
.
yeah but thank GOD....we have the power to atleast change the government that represents us and our will.....
we are behind in economy but not so much that we have bow down.....
 

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