India tests Chinese sensibilities in Taiwan | India News
In a tweet that was significant for its geopolitical signaling, MEA spokesman Arindam Bagchi said: “We are deeply saddened by the loss of so many lives in the rail accident in Taiwan. Our condolences to the families. And our prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured. ”
We are deeply saddened by the loss of so many lives in the Taiwan rail accident. Our condolences to… https://t.co/aNWIHGEFXx
– Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) 1617434941000
In response, the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Minister Joseph Wu tweeted in appreciation: “Thank you @MEAIndia for the heartfelt message of concern and condolences. The government is working to ensure that rescue and recovery efforts continue apace, while ensuring that those affected receive all necessary support. ”
Thank you @MEAIndia for the expression of sentiment and support. This genuinely friendly gesture will touch people… https://t.co/Gfk9TqFIBg
– Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan) 🇹🇼 (@MOFA_Taiwan) 1617439519000
The Indian tweet and the Taiwanese response are unlikely to go unnoticed on the mainland, as the expression of sadness is another example from India making it clear that India-China ties cannot be restored if borders remain unstable.
Wu tweeted: “This genuinely friendly gesture will touch people and bring Taiwan and India closer together in a real and lasting way. JW ”A passenger train carrying nearly 500 people crashed into a truck in a tunnel in Hualien, eastern Taiwan, on Friday, killing 50 people and injuring many more.
The MEA tweet is a harmless expression of condolence, but its significance lies in the fact that India, probably for the first time, is pushing the envelope on Taiwan. Although India has said for some time that it expects China to respect the “one India” policy if it wants reciprocity in the “one China” policy, India has refrained from testing the limits of it. The East Ladakh conflict between India and China from April 2020 changed all that.
The extension of India’s diplomatic hand to Taiwan comes days after a sitting US ambassador visited Taiwan earlier this week for the first time in 40 years (since 1979).
John Hennesey-Niland, the U.S. ambassador to Palau, became the first acting envoy to travel to Taiwan in an official capacity since Washington severed formal ties with Taipei in favor of Beijing in 1979. He traveled with Palau President Surangel Whipps Jr. to open a travel “bubble” between Palau and Taiwan.
In his official remarks there, the US envoy reaffirmed his commitment to strengthening ties with Taiwan under the most recent US legislation.
Also on Saturday, Chinese anti-submarine jets entered Taiwan’s airspace and left only when Taiwan scrambled its planes. China has increased its intrusions into Taiwan and ADIZ airspace since 2020, primarily to signal dominance of the region.
However, officials and analysts have also noted that China’s recent aggressive behavior towards Taiwan has grown more belligerent and is almost fueling a confrontation.
India has also stepped up its own diplomatic pressure on China, especially as the disengagement has stalled in eastern Ladakh after the first actions in Pangong Tso, where India disconnected from the Kailash range it had dominated. But since then, there has been no more movement with China.
On Friday, the MEA spokesperson warned: “We hope that the Chinese side will work with us to ensure that the disconnection in the remaining areas is completed as soon as possible. This would allow both sides to consider reducing forces in eastern Ladakh, as that alone will lead to the restoration of peace and tranquility and provide the conditions for the progress of our bilateral relationship. ”