Taiwan-India: New Friends? – D.S.Rajan

D.S.Rajan, former director in the Cabinet Secretariat, Government of , and current director of the Chennai Centre for China Studies, discusses Ma Ying-Jeou’s upcoming visit to India and India-. From c3sindia.org:

If reports appearing in Taiwan and sections of Indian and world press are true, Taiwan’s Kuo Ming Tang (KMT) Presidential candidate, Ma Ying-Jeou is to pay a visit to India on Jun 12-13, 2007. Ma is basically a politician and had held the high posts of Minister for Justice, KMT Chairman and Taipei and is now being considered by many as a front-runner in the next year’s Presidential elections in Taiwan. It is not yet known who in India will be hosting the Taiwan leader and whether or not he will meet any Indian government or political personality. Under its ‘one-China’ policy, India has so far taken care to avoid any high level official contacts with Taiwan. It even did not permit the proposed visit of the then Taiwan Vice President Annette Lu to Gujarat in 2001 to distribute earthquake relief material. New Delhi is likely to persist with such policy while dealing with Ma’s visit, so as not to jeopardise its strategically important ties with Beijing. Expectations are that the KMT leader’s visit will be treated by New Delhi as purely ‘unofficial’ and that the hosts will be from non-governmental bodies in India. Can there be any hidden political meaning then behind the proposed visit? This question may look justified, as every one is aware that a leader of Ma Ying-Jeou’s standing cannot come to India without the tacit understanding of the government there. [Full Text]

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