New Delhi, Oct 24 (IANS) Ties between India and Taiwan are on an upward trajectory, especially under the “pro-business and proactive” leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said Taiwanese Ambassador Tien, Chung-Kwang.
Among the countries Taiwan shares special relations with, “India will be the most important country to work with,” Tien said in an interaction with journalists on Wednesday.
Since 2014-19 there have been lot of changes, and the bilateral trade has gone up. The bilateral trade, which stood at $1 billion in 2000, was $7.5 billion in 2018 – a six times increase in volume, he said.
“The trade is very healthy, and balanced, which is very important. Imbalanced trade is not very healthy for trade relations,” he said, in an apparent reference to India’s hugely imbalanced trade with China. Trade has been one of the niggling issues with China, as it is heavily titled in Beijing’s favour.
Taiwan invested $360 million in 2018 in India through its companies, an increase of 12 times over what it invested in 2016, Tien said, during the interaction with the Indian Association of Foreign Affairs Correspondents.
“Our relations have fast enhanced. India provides tremendous opportunities that are manufacturing oriented,” he added.
He said there are 2,398 Indian students studying in Taiwan, which is a big number for his country, which has a population of 2.3 crore.
Taiwan also prefers relations with India as there is “minimal political interference” in areas of trade, cultural ties, education etc., unlike in some countries, he added.
Taiwan is trying to set up Taiwan education centres in India, which are present in some IITs and the Jindal school. “Language will open the door,” he said.
Tien said India and Taiwan have “no issues” or discord in the area of religion, culture, civilisation, “our trade is balanced, we have no border issues, no tariff issues” – in an obvious reference to India’s continuing boundary and trade disputes with China.
China claims sovereignty over Taiwan as a part of its One China principle. The Taiwanese maintain the Taipei Economic Cultural Centre in New Delhi. China opposes any official contact between Taiwan and other countries and has warned India in the past to strictly follow the “one-China” policy.