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“Both India and Taiwan Threatened by Authoritarianism”: Taiwanese Envoy

'Both India and Taiwan Threatened by Authoritarianism': Taiwanese Envoy

Baushuan Ger said that Taiwan appreciates India for upholding justice. (Proceedings)

New Delhi:

India and Taiwan are threatened by “authoritarianism” and it is high time for both sides to engage in “strategic collaboration,” Taipei’s de facto ambassador Baushuan Ger said on Sunday, referring to China’s aggressive behavior in the region. .

In an interview with PTI, Ger said that Taiwan and India must unite to “fend off” the “expansion of the autocracy,” citing actions in the East and South China Seas, Hong Kong, and the Galwan Valley to highlight the reasons for the tensions. in the region.

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Following a high-profile visit to Taiwan by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in August, China has been intensifying its military offensive against the self-governing island of more than 23 million people, which raised global concerns.

China regards Taiwan as its breakaway province and reacted angrily to Pelosi’s tour of Taiwan.

Ger said that Taiwan appreciates India for upholding justice, peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait following China’s military offensive in response to Pelosi’s trip.

“Both India and Taiwan are threatened by authoritarianism, therefore closer collaboration between the two is not only desirable but necessary,” Ger said.

“I think it is high time that we engage in strategic collaboration, with enhancing trade and technology cooperation being one of the most viable areas to start with,” he added.

The envoy said the Chinese military has been intensifying its aggression around Taiwanese and Japanese waters and airspace, severely “devastating” peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region.

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He said the actions increased the chances of “miscalculations” but may well be a “prelude” to changes in the status quo.

“We appreciate that India has stood up for justice, peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. Now, some were wrong to think that by inviting President Pelosi, Taiwan and the US were the ‘provocateurs’, intending to change the status quo,” Ger said.

“However, if we take a look at the facts on the ground over the years: the Galwan Valley, the East and South China Sea, and Hong Kong, it is clear who the real provocateur is. Taiwan is just fighting back in reaction to what’s going on,” she added.

While China has been cracking down on pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong and continued to increase its military activities in the East and South China Sea, their aggressive behavior triggered the clashes in the Galwan Valley in June 2020.

India has no formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, but the two sides have trade and people-to-people relations. In 1995, New Delhi established the India-Taipei Association (ITA) in Taipei to promote interactions between the two sides. “It is encouraging to see that in recent years there have been fundamental changes in terms of how democracies, including India, no longer just react but take active steps to prevent and counter anti-democratic tactics and gray area operations,” said Mr. Ger said.

“In this sense, India is like Taiwan, at the forefront of aggressive and belligerent authoritarian regimes. We need to unite to defend ourselves against the expansion of autocracy,” he added.

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The de facto ambassador said there is “huge untapped potential” for cooperation between Taiwan and India.

“We can and should collaborate more on cyber, space, maritime, green energy, food security and even tourism and gastronomy,” he said.

Ger said yoga is very popular in Taiwan and Bollywood movies are also catching up quickly.

“There is so much we can offer each other. I sincerely hope that India sees Taiwan in its own right,” he said.

Referring to the Chinese military actions, Ger said that Taiwan has been at the forefront of fighting creeping authoritarianism for decades.

“Every day, we repel numerous malicious hacking attempts and disinformation attacks; our fighter jets and warships thwart intrusion attempts, and our coast guards scare off camouflaged illegal fishing boats,” he said.

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In the wake of Ms. Pelosi’s visit last month, China held major military exercises around Taiwan, with Chinese warplanes and vessels continuously crossing the median line in the Taiwan Strait.

“Last month alone, more than 300 sorties were made over the median line, a dramatic increase from previous years, while there was a long-standing tacit agreement between Taiwan and China on the median line of the Taiwan Strait,” he said. Ger.

“Certainly, given China’s recent relentless median-line incursions and other military provocations around Taiwan, it is a clear sign that China is attempting to routineize its action to destroy the long-term status quo across the Strait. from Taiwan,” he said. .

Ger said that China is trying to undermine the fact that the Taiwan Strait is part of international waters, thus setting the stage for a “new normal” in waterways.

He also sought India’s support for Taiwan’s offer to meaningfully participate in the World Health Assembly, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and INTERPOL, etc.

“You see, this is not even political, but for humanitarian purposes. Let’s start from here and build the momentum for win-win cooperation,” he said.

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The de facto ambassador said that Taiwan has not been able to participate in the UN system because of China.

“By deliberately conflating its ‘One China’ principle with UN General Assembly Resolution 2758, the resolution that determined who represents China in the organization some 50 years ago, Beijing is misleading the world by spreading the fallacy that Taiwan is part of the People’s Republic of China,” Ger said.

“The long-term status quo is that the ROC (Taiwan) and the PRC are separate jurisdictions, with neither subordinate to the other,” he said.

Mr. Ger said that the people of Taiwan can only be represented in the international community by their freely and democratically elected government.

“The misinterpretation of United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758 has long deprived Taiwan of the right to participate in the United Nations and its specialized agencies, such as the WHO, ICAO and INTERPOL, and has also denied the international community the opportunity to benefit from Taiwan’s contributions,” he added.

Mr. Ger said that countries around the world are beginning to realize what Taiwan has to offer and many support its strong participation in the UN system.

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(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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