China cannot set conditions for everyone in Asia

China cannot set conditions for everyone in Asia

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China has accused two BJP MPs, Meenakshi Lekhi and Rahul Kaswan, of attending the recent swearing-in ceremony of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. Both MPs were among 92 dignitaries, including US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who attended the ceremony. But China has lodged a protest against India’s participation on the grounds that India officially adheres to the ‘China One China’ doctrine which sees Taiwan as part of China.

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It is true that India actually follows the ‘One China’ principle. But this should not stop us from expanding proper relations with Taiwan, which actually attains sovereignty. After all, the US also subscribes to the ‘One China’ policy, but that did not prevent Washington from significant cooperation – including defense sales – with Taipei. Also, when China itself does not follow ‘One India’ and claims Arunachal Pradesh, why should New Delhi bend over to please Beijing? Nor does Beijing consult New Delhi when it performs activities in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, which India claims. So why should New Delhi seek permission to have a proper relationship with Taiwan?

Meanwhile, Taiwan has been a classic example of the current Kovid-19 epidemic and wants to share its medical experience with the world. It has also donated face masks for frontline medical workers in India. Nevertheless, Beijing is improperly preventing Taipei’s participation in the WHO. Add this to the ongoing border tension between Indian and Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh. Against this backdrop, India should be open to expanding relations with Taiwan as appropriate. China cannot set rules of engagement for everyone in Asia. Beijing’s assertiveness and unreasonable demands must be countered.

Also read: India-China deadlock: Political-diplomatic dialogue should be seen in only one way

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