Ming Shih Shen • The China Factor in Taiwan–India Relations
Ming Shih Shen
Director and Associate Professor,
War College, Graduate Institute of Strategic Studies,
National Defense University
When discussing the development of Taiwan–India relations, some people are pessimistic whereas others are optimistic. The pessimists believe that because of the oppression of the People’s Republic of China and the realistic concerns of India, Taiwan–India relations are unable to undergo substantial development. Conversely, the optimists hold the idea that the enemies of one’s enemy are friends, believing that the more intense the conflict between China and India becomes, the more space will be created for relations development between Taiwan and India. Especially given the United States’ proposal of Indo-Pacific strategies, US–India relations are gradually expected to deepen. When this occurs, Taiwan can utilize the basis of US–Taiwan relations to deepen Taiwan–India relations. Both pessimists and optimists will agree that the main factor affecting Taiwan–India relations is China. Because the sovereignty claimed by China is similar to that claimed by Taiwan, international communities are easily confused by the situation. Consequently, India has to be careful when interacting with Taiwan, especially regarding diplomatic affairs. Countries affected by China’s numerous protests and boycotts premised on invasions of its sovereignty will eventually become too frustrated and compromise with China, and Taiwan–India relations are also affected by this concern. Although a change in the international environment and the preference of the India’s political leader may lead to new developments in Taiwan–India relations, China is extremely likely to take interfering actions; thus, China remains the major variable in Taiwan–India relations.
In early 2017, three Taiwanese legislators visited India. This act caused China to protest, and media warmongers accused the Indian government of playing with fire. The Chinese media emphasized that China and India are critical trade partners but that political disharmony and historic disputes would hinder development of the relationship between the two countries. This news reporting is concrete examples of China suppressing the ability of Taiwan to develop relations with the rest of the world. Since the two sides of the Taiwan Strait began to be governed by different political powers, the overlapping claim of sovereignty and China’s oppression of Taiwan’s diplomacy have meant that diplomatic relations between Taiwan and China are a zero-sum game in which gentlemen and thieves cannot coexist. When Taiwan attempts to develop relations with another country, China’s attempt to influence the process is inevitable.
Previously, Taiwan’s diplomatic approaches were mainly based on inheritance and the content of the Asia-Pacific strategies held by the United States. Since Taiwan left the United Nations, the number of countries with which it has democratic relations has reduced year by year, and the countries with which relations are still held are mostly in the Caribbean Sea, Central America, and Africa. Taiwan has diplomatic relations with none of the countries in the Southeast Asia region that affect Taiwan’s security, instead having only substantial relations. As China becomes stronger and stronger, the concern of other countries regarding the “One China” claim is increasing. Consequently, even though Taiwan claims sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islands (also known as Senkaku Islands), Taiwan was not involved when China negotiated the islands’ fate with Japan. When countries in the South China Sea discussed Code of Conduct regarding the South China Sea, Taiwan, which owns Taiping Island, was again excluded. Taiwan’s diplomatic situation permits no optimism. When the relations between China and Taiwan do change, whether China will force Taiwan to accept the political framework established by China by forcing countries to terminate their democratic relations with Taiwan will be a matter of great public concern.
To resolve this diplomatic predicament and in addition to maintaining the current diplomatic relations Taiwan has, Taiwan is exploring the possibility of entering into new democratic relations with other countries, such as newly established countries or those that have strategical conflict with China. Because of the competition across the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan must consider countries outside the conventional diplomatic war zones. Relations with countries that have recently announced their independence are easy to build but also easy to lose. For example, in 1999, Taiwan established diplomatic relations with Macedonia in Europe for the price of 150 million US dollars annually, equivalent to 50 billion New Taiwan dollars. The relations were maintained for only two years. In 2001, Macedonia established diplomatic relations with China instead.
Given the rise of China, many countries have decided to rely on China economically and the United States for their security, thus hoping to ensure their security while being integrated with and able to profit from the economic development in East Asia. Despite the strategic interests of some countries contradicting those of China, when the tension is not at conflict level, the countries focus on economic development. Alternatively, before the United States makes its stance, the countries do not actively condemn China or take action to boycott. For example, when China created islands in the South China Sea, the neighboring countries only verbally condemned the creation and did not take any concrete action to counter China. Finally, the United States was the country that proposed an action plan to maintain freedom of navigation in response to the illegality of the artificial islands. In the future and when the conflict for territorial sovereignty is not heated, the United States will probably not interfere or may even nudge the involved countries to broker peace even at the cost of their own rights and interests.
Because the role of the “World’s Policeman” is too heavy for one country alone, the United States must seek large countries in certain region to share the responsibility for ensuring security. Therefore, Australia in Oceania and Japan in Northeast Asia have become the two pillars upon which the United States relies to maintain peace in the Asia-Pacific region. When Afghanistan was occupied by the Soviet Union, the United States supported Afghanistan’s neighbor Pakistan and used Pakistan as its forward operating base, resulting in poor relations with India during the Cold War era. India had long been receiving support from the Soviet Union, so it took a preventive attitude against the United States.
After the September 11 terrorist attacks, although the country needed support from Pakistan to fight terrorism, the United States also maintained friendly relations with India to gradually establish a foundation for cooperation. India is a regional power in South Asia. As the interests of the United States extended to South Asia, which can be connected to the country’s interests in the Middle East, the United States required a regional strong power that was democratic and stable to assist in maintaining the stability of the region. Thus, India was the favored choice.
Taiwan was affected by this development. During the period when India was accepting support from the Soviet Union, development of the relations between Taiwan and India was negligible. The two countries had formal diplomatic relations between 1942 and 1949. After these relations were broken, the countries did not establish representative offices in each other’s territory for interaction until the 1990s. Development of the relations between Taiwan and India was affected by the global strategic environment and, most crucially, by China. In this paper, the development of China–Taiwan relations and the influential factor of India are first discussed separately. Subsequently, the Taiwan issue under China–India relations is analyzed. Finally, the variables affecting the development of Taiwan–India relations are investigated, and this paper concludes by proposing suggestions for future policies.
- China–Taiwan Relations Development and India
The development of the relations between China and Taiwan has a historic context but has also been affected by the strategic environment, especially the Asia-Pacific strategies held by the United States. During the Cold War, when the democratic and communist groups were in conflict, Taiwan was the first line of defense against communism expansion in the west Pacific. It signed defense agreements with the United States and also received support from the nation. By contrast, India did not wish to form allies with any of the groups, instead concentrating on its own complex problems. Once the Cold War had ended, Taiwan and China began to interact and frequent trades and nongovernmental exchanges began. However, China’s diplomatic oppression of Taiwan did not stop.
After Taiwan administration changed in 2008, the diplomatic oppression from China have not lessened. Although China has different policies regarding Taiwan’s different political parties, Taiwan is unable to break China’s blockade despite its concerns regarding diplomacy and the irreplaceability of sovereignty. The number of countries maintaining diplomatic relations with Taiwan continues to dwindle. Fortunately, the United States sells weapons to Taiwan on the basis of the Taiwan Relations Act and promises a certain degree of security, thereby maintaining peace in the Taiwan Strait. The development of cross-Strait relations is affected by China’s Taiwan policy. Since Deng Xiaoping came to power, China has been claiming that the means to solving the “Taiwan issue” is “Peaceful Unification” and the “One Country, Two Systems” concept.
Although Taiwan proclaims that it has the sovereignty of the Republic of China and that China has never ruled Taiwan, China disregards Taiwan’s sovereignty and claims that China is the representative of “One China.” China attempts to prevent provoking a conflict by advocating “Peaceful Unification.” Jiang Zemin stated eight clear principles (Jiang’s Eight-Point Proposal) concerning this possible unification. Although the proposal increased flexibility in conditions and practices of cross-Strait relations, the ultimate goal of Jiang Zemin was to unify with Taiwan peacefully. During his reign, Taiwan held a direct presidential election and the elected president Lee Teng-hui visited the United States; in response to this, China conducted missile tests and military exercises against Taiwan, breaking the stability established by the Wang–Koo summit.
During the premiership of Hu Jintao, Taiwan faced its first political party rotation, DPP, the party proclaiming Taiwan independence becoming the ruling party. After a short period of observation, the cross-Strait relations changed from stable to tense and oppugnant. During the Taiwan presidential election in 2004, the tensed opposition aggravated. After China’s intimidation proved unsuccessful and resulted in the opposite effect of that intended—that the president Chen Shui-bian not be reelected—China proposed in March 2005 the Anti-Secession Law, utilizing the means of establishing a domestic law as a legal basis for solving the Taiwan issue. The leader of Taiwan’s opposition party visited China and signed a consensus document with Hu regarding the development of the Taiwanese government’s China policy, giving China the hope that after the presidential election in 2008, cross-Strait interaction would be resumed.
As wished by China, Ma Ying-jeou was elected president in 2008 with a strong majority and China and Taiwan started further interaction. The “Three Links” began to operate, the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement was passed, and the two countries were scheduled to discuss confidence-building military measures. After Typhoon Morakot, Ma’s reputation plummeted, restricting his active interaction with China. Ma could only interact with China through the Straits Exchange Foundation, Association for Relations across the Taiwan Straits, and nongovernment channels. His stance on the cross-Strait confidence-building military measures was challenged because of his pro-China inclination, and these measures became a sensitive cross-Strait topic that he dared not discuss publicly. During his second term of office, because of an upcoming presidential election in Taiwan, China actively proposed a Ma–Xi meeting. This meeting did not prevent KMT’s defeat in the next election and Taiwan’s second party alternation, and China’s demand of Taiwan—agreement to the 1992 Consensus—has been the barrier to stable interaction between China and Taiwan ever since.
Cross-Strait relations and Taiwan–India relations do not appear to be categorically connected; a low point in cross-Strait relations does not necessarily present an opportunity for Taiwan to develop relations with India, and tension between China and India may not necessarily lead to closer Taiwan–India relations. However, it is undeniable that due to such relations’ geographical and strategic benefits or a mutual hope of using the other strategically, Taiwan hopes to improve its relations with India to increase its number of bargaining chips with China. Taiwan also hopes to take advantage of the tension between China and India to seek diplomatic breakthroughs as an indicative diplomatic achievement.
In December 2006, during Chen’s period in power, four associations were established—the Association of Economy and Trade across Taiwan Mongolia, Taiwan Russia Association, Taiwan Central Asia Cultural and Economic Association, and Taiwan Tibetan Welfare Association—and after this success, the government took the lead and, as part of the national security strategy, established the fifth bilateral relations association, which was between Taiwan and India. The government was thus active in cultivating relations with countries around China as a counteraction against China’s oppression of Taiwan. This was typical geostrategic thinking. Although Taiwan’s strategy was ostensibly led by the National Security Council, Taiwan Thinktank was in charge and the former PM of the Executive Yuan Yu Shyi-kun was the first Director of the think tank. When the Kuomintang returned to power, the resources allocated to this strategy were restricted and further advances were hindered.
During Ma’s presidency, India was concerned about whether China and Taiwan would unify. However, the interaction between Taiwan and India is not likely to be terminated and is not under threat. Provided Taiwan–India relations remain limited to culture and trade rather than extended to political and security concerns, they are unlikely to be affected by any change in cross-Strait relations. In early 2011, Taiwan began to conduct visits of ministerial officials to India. By the end of that year, an office had been established in Chennai and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in New Delhi was renamed the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in India. President Ma made a brief visit to Mumbai in April 2012, becoming the first president of the Republic of China to step foot in the land of India since India had declared independence. China did not strongly protest against this act, indicating that China may have been understood of this behavior. The Taiwan Affairs Office, an administrative agency of China, stated that the visit was only a “technical stay,” and the then Foreign Minister of Taiwan, Timothy Yang, stated that it was a result of “viable diplomacy.”
This example demonstrates that when cross-Strait relations have been stable and if a fixed communication channel was available, opportunities existed to interact with India providing they were low-key. However, a result such as this—viewed from an overall diplomatic perspective—only has symbolic meaning. The interaction between Taiwan and India still requires mutual benefits in economy, trade, and diplomatic needs.
- Development of China–India Relations and Taiwan
The collapse of the Soviet Union deprived India of its long-term strategic security net and its major military and economic support, which affected the country’s economy. To improve its domestic political and diplomatic predicaments, India began to make critical adjustments to its internal politics and diplomatic strategies. Regarding its diplomatic policies, under the idea of a big nation’s strategy, India began universal multilevel diplomacy based on multilateralism. First, it loosened its controls over countries in South Asia, providing them with economic and political incentives without demanding equal reciprocal benefits. Second, it agreed to let countries outside South Asia to participate in the domestic affairs of countries in the region.
Regarding global affairs, India gradually abandoned its policy of non-alignment and instead promoted multilateralism diplomacy with a focus on its relations with the United States. In the past, the diplomatic policy adopted by the United States was to balance its relations with India and Pakistan, but the US stance has gradually shifted toward increased relations with India. Because of the Sino-Indian War and India’s decision to stand with the Soviet Union, the relations between China and India were stagnant until 1988, when Rajiv Gandhi visited China, and the two countries resumed full economic, trade, culture, and educational exchange and cooperation. In 1988, the two countries signed several agreements to maintain peace at the border and ease tension between them. In 1998, India conducted its fifth nuclear bomb tests, resulting in turbulence in China–India relations. In 2003, the Prime Minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, visited China, the relations between the countries stabilized again, and the two nations became strategic partnership.
During the administration of Hu, who was the leader of the China Communist Party, China’s policy toward India had the following characteristics:
- Maintenance of interaction between the higher levels of government, increase in political trust, and establishment of various communication mechanisms.
- Deepening of cooperation in various aspects, increase in the number of negotiations regarding economic policies, and cooperation in realms including infrastructure, information technology, investment, and mutual protection.
- Reinforcement of cultural exchange, cultivation of mutual understanding, and promotion of Chinese language teaching.
- Adequately handling of disagreements, maintenance of peace and stability, and promotion of negotiation in border problems.
- Enhancement of communication, increased cooperation in international affairs.
These policy characteristics reflect that Hu continued the foreign policy convention of keeping a low profile, not wishing to create conflict or cause war with India. Regarding controversial issues, he was willing to continue to communicate and interact with India on the basis of mutual trust in politics and the military to maintain communication and promote activities reducing the tension between the countries. After the September 11 attacks, India had concerns because of the cooperation between Pakistan and the United States regarding anti-terrorism and even suggested that some of the terrorist attacks that had taken place in India had been planned by Pakistan. However, the United States adopted a balanced policy; its cooperation with Pakistan did not result in the United States considering India an enemy. Rather, the country strengthened its cooperation with India. In 2005, the US–Indian Military Cooperation Agreement was signed, and the United States began selling weapons to India. After the Soviet Union collapsed, India needed the support of the United States to counterbalance the force of China; thus, United States–India relations continued to improve.
For a long time, India’s policy on China has been seeking “a strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity.” However, before its total national strength begins to match that of China, India will continue to adopt the principle of maintaining a peaceful coexistence with China. Before 2014, when Narendra Modi became the Indian Prime Minister, China–India relations were developing benignly. The year 2011 was named the Year of Exchange between India and China, whereas 2012 was the Year of Friendly Cooperation between India and China. High levels of government from both countries visited and held exchanges during this period, and the two countries interacted on issues including politics, economics, security, and borders, demonstrating their stable relationship. China and India also discussed the possibility of signing free trade agreements, but because of the extremely high risks involved, India had concerns. These concerns led to Taiwan and India negotiating free trade agreements. However, because the benefits and freedom granted by the Taiwan–India agreements might have exceeded those negotiated between China and India, Taiwan was consequently constrained in its further actions by China, and no further news about Taiwan and India signing free trade agreements has been announced.
India, facing the strength of China and the rise of China’s military power since the Chinese economic reform, still hopes to maintain stable and cooperative relations with China. As long as China maintains the attitude of shelving its dispute with India regarding territorial sovereignty, this cooperation is likely to continue. The armies of China and India have conducted joint military exercises at their border. India’s former Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, was the first serving Indian Prime Minister to visit China, and this occurred in 2008. In addition to paying official visits, the leaders of the two countries can also meet at international events such as BRICS summits and G20 summits; thus, they do not lack meeting opportunities.
Before Xi Jinping’s first term in office and due to internal power struggles, China tended to foster ambivalence in their relations with other countries to create trouble. Consequently, China and India have continued to have small-scale conflicts on the border since 2012. After Modi was inaugurated in 2014, he planned to put India first and emphasize enrichment of the country and strengthening of its army. In addition to revitalizing the economy and strengthening its military, India was also active in cultivating cooperative relations regarding security with countries such as the United States, Japan, and Australia. Joint military exercises and US–India and Japan–India interactions have indicated India’s strong intention to strengthen those cooperative relations. Its preparedness for preventing China’s strategic expansion has gradually increased. After the dispute at Doklam in 2017, India sensed that China’s war preparation and infrastructure construction on the China–India border could no longer be overlooked, and its sense of the danger posed by China increased daily.
After Taiwan proposed its New Southbound Policy, of which India is a featured country, the relations between Taiwan and China had the potential improve. However, what have been emphasized to date remain the economy, trade, and cultural exchange; progress regarding regional security cooperation and military exchange appears to be low-key and slow, clearly due to China’s influence. Whereas India needs support and assistance from the United States and Japan to counter China, China, in turn, appeals to countries around India to restrain India. Although the relations of India with the United States and Japan continue to improve, India will not sign defense agreements with those countries. Likewise, although Taiwan’s strategic influence and value as a bargaining chip are less than those of countries such as the United States, Japan, and Australia, it has special value in containing China. Taiwan and India have the potential to enter into cooperation regarding their mutual security. However, unless India identifies concrete benefits and value to cooperating with Taiwan or major incidents occur between China and India, no major breakthrough is likely to happen.
- Taiwan–India Relations Facing Changes
- Internal Political Changes in Taiwan and India
Compared with periods in the past, the present day should be a favorable time for Taiwan to enhance Taiwan–India relations. The ruling party of Taiwan, DPP, does not wish to rely overly on China; instead, it hopes to disperse its markets and investments and strengthen its connections with Southeast Asian and South Asian countries. Considerable thought and effort is devoted to improving Taiwan–India relations. For the Indian government, the threat posed by China’s military is becoming increasingly pressing. The Doklam incident proved that China, with a strong military force, would never suffer the shame of losing the sovereignty of what it regarded as its territory and would employ every military, economic, and diplomatic strategy to recover such territory. Regarding military forces and infrastructure, at the China–India border, India appears to lack the confidence that it could win a war; thus, India must become more prepared for war to give itself more room for negotiation. The Indian government is the situation in which it can neither give in to border demands nor lose a war if conflict were to break out; both would affect election results in India and cause Modi to lose power or even cause the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party to lose power. Therefore, India must be cautious, making China fear the improvement in Taiwan–India relations but not becoming China’s enemy.
From Taiwan’s perspective, both countries must consider the regional power balance and the attitude of larger countries if they are to quickly alter the current Taiwan–India relations given that Taiwan–India relations have long been progressing at a snail’s pace and both the Bharatiya Janata Party and Democratic Progressive Party are in power. The current advantage for Taiwan is that any act made to improve Taiwan–India relations would not affect cross-Strait relations and interactions. Taiwan has a critical opportunity to be linked to Asia’s Democratic Security Diamond—which is formed by the United States, Japan, India, and Australia—or become part of the Indo-Pacific strategy of the United States.
Taiwan cannot unilaterally decide to enter those security alliances. Similarly, if Taiwan attends activities of the Indo-Pacific security mechanism, China cannot lay blame solely at Taiwan’s feet and punish Taiwan; such an action might result in the opposite of the desired effect, causing Taiwan to gain more international support. However, if such active diplomatic moves are not supported by both the ruling and opposition parties or the 2020 presidential election results in another alternation, termination of policies or a change in priorities might also affect the development of Taiwan–India relations.
- Possibility of China–India Conflict
Although the effects of the Doklam incident have temporarily dampened, Xi’s planning for war in the west, military organization reform, and infrastructure expansion all indicate that China is preparing to solve its territory sovereignty problems once and for all. If China utilizes its fast power projection ability to snatch Southern Tibet or hit the Indian army hard in local border conflicts, China and India will enter into a period of great conflict. To date, the two countries are still at the war preparation stage. China has mostly completed adjusting its forces and constructing railroads and highways. Its arrangement of long-range fighters and bombers is also complete. By contrast, India is restricted by its geography. Transportation between central and northeastern states is inconvenient, hindering the speed of power projection.
India has been active in arms purchases to strengthen its long-range troop delivery ability. It has also been constructing railroads and highways to connect its northeastern states. Without this infrastructure, it would need to position strong military forces in each state in the northeast, but doing so would make it difficult to counter the threat of Pakistan in the west. India’s objective is to prevent “two-and-a-half-fronts” war, first eliminating internal rebels and communist forces and reinforcing its infrastructure. These procedures aim to prevent the loss of an opportunity if war broke out between China and India in the hopes of threatening China and keeping it in check.
In addition to preparing for land combat, India has strengthened its navy in the Indian Ocean and its strategic missile units. When needed, missiles can be fired from the sea or surface-to-surface missiles can be employed to counteract a Chinese invasion. If both parties are of equal power and have the threat of nuclear weapons, the conflict between China and India is likely to be restricted to small-scale border disputes or small-scale combat. Although such conflict is short-lived, they do not completely resolve the territory sovereignty problem. If military conflict between China and India does not occur, the countries’ strategies to unite the weak to fight their mutual strong enemy will continue, and Taiwan can serve as an ally of India. If the possibility of military conflict between China and India increases, the mutual military trust between them will be lost, and India will place stronger military demands on its allies for information, weapon systems, and logistics. More importantly, India will hope that the tension in the East China Sea or Taiwan Strait will increase and thus constrain China’s strategic expansion in the west.
- Regional Conflict and Major Incidents
Because of China’s strengthened national force, the country began to take a strong stance in regional disputes. China regularly cruises ships around the Diaoyutai Islands in the East China Sea. In addition, regarding the Taiwan issue, the unofficial Chinese media continually emphasizes the need to employ military force to unify with Taiwan. China has constructed islands in the Spratly Islands and built seven military bases. Because the United States does not wish to forsake their freedom of navigation, conflict may occur between the United States and China in the South China Sea. Alternatively, if the United States and China enter into general military conflict, the South China Sea may be one of the places in which the war begins. Moreover, if conflict involving China occurs on the Korean Peninsula, the entire Indo-Pacific strategic situation will be affected. More worthy of attention is the activity of China’s military presence in the Indian Ocean. China’s expansion of its military presence has forced India to regularly send out troops to cruise the Indian Ocean, and conflict between China and India could occur in the Indian Ocean.
When conflict or war happens between two countries, the effect on their diplomatic relations can be long-term. Loss in a war may result in endless revenge, and from that point on, the countries may be conflict endlessly. Coming between China and India if they were in conflict would have no major advantage for Taiwan. In fact, because Taiwan and India are not allies, Taiwan would have no obligation to interfere. However, if a major regional incident were to cause a conflict or war between China and the United States or Japan, the tension between China and India would be alleviated. Nonetheless, if China were to win such a conflict or obtain major diplomatic interests, its accumulated self-confidence and sense of nationalism would affect its actions at the China–India border. These are problems of which India should be aware.
When India faces an unfavorable situation and must strengthen its cooperation with Indo-Pacific countries to counter the threat from China, the relations between Taiwan and India may be strengthened, even to the degree of conducting military cooperation. If these cooperative relations can gain the support of the United States or Japan, Taiwan will become a supporter of the United States and Japan, thus strengthening the security of India; this will be beneficial to Taiwan–India relations.
From the perspectives of geostrategic interests and Indo-Pacific region changes, the relations between Taiwan and India appear to have potential of development. China–India relations are affected by the competition between the countries’ strategic interests and border problems, and conflict between these countries appears to be increasing in intensity. Providing Modi remains in office, the internal power of Xi is still being challenged, and China’s outward expansion policy is unaltered, the status quo will be maintained. Therefore, Taiwan must consider what benefits it can offer India regarding strategies and security.
Forging a deeper connection with India, which is a strong power in South Asia that has the potential to become a strong power worldwide, would be a major breakthrough for Taiwan. This connection would also give Taiwan support when facing military threats from China. India has never stated that Taiwan is a part of China, just as it has disagreed that Tibet is a part of China. This silence does not mean that India would support Taiwan to counter China or would support Taiwan despite China’s oppression.
For India, Taiwan’s strength lies in economy and trade. If India is active in introducing foreign investment and developing its economy, Taiwan, which is striving to promote its New Southbound Policy, will be a very willing partner with whom India could cooperate. In addition to economy and trade, the strategy and security benefits of having deep relations with Taiwan—such as increased military intelligence, access to military science and technology, Chinese language teaching, and research on the People’s Liberation Army—would certainly be beneficial to India, and India is not blind to these benefits. However, if cooperation were to be promoted, India would still have hesitations and concerns, mainly due to the China factor. Likewise, the continuation of India’s internal policy and the development of the regional situation affect India’s diplomatic decision.
Dedicating itself to improving Taiwan–India relations would highlight Taiwan’s geostrategic advantage. Other than Taiwan’s strengths in military intelligence and military industrial, its soft powers such as Chinese language teaching, knowledge of the People’s Liberation Army, and application of strategies and tactics may also be for what India is in dire need. Moreover, through the assistance of the United States and Japan, inclusion of Taiwan in the security structure of the United States, Japan, India, and Australia—which would provide Taiwan with direct or indirect support—would be also beneficial to the United States and Japan as they prepare for and attempt to prevent a confrontation with China.