IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


16th January, 2024 International Relations


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  • The Pacific Island nation of Nauru announced it had severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan and established ties with China.

READ ALL ABOUT INDIA TAIWAN RELATIONS: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/india-taiwan-relations

India Taiwan Relations

  • India does not officially recognize Taiwan as a separate sovereign state, adhering to the "One-China" policy.
  • The "One-China" policy acknowledges the People's Republic of China (PRC) as the only legitimate government representing the entirety of China, including Taiwan.
  • However, India and Taiwan maintain robust economic and people-to-people ties without establishing official diplomatic relations.

Economic Relations:

Trade Relations:

  • India and Taiwan share a significant economic relationship.
  • Trade between the two has witnessed growth over the years.
  • According to available trade data, in the fiscal year 2020-21, the bilateral trade volume between India and Taiwan reached USD 7.16 billion.


  • Taiwanese companies have made substantial investments in India, contributing to economic growth.
  • Key sectors include electronics, information technology, and manufacturing.
  • Investments from Taiwanese firms in India have steadily increased, fostering technology transfer and industrial development.

People-to-People Ties:

  • Education and Cultural Exchanges:
    • Both countries encourage educational and cultural exchanges. Indian students pursue higher education in Taiwan, and various cultural events and programs contribute to strengthening people-to-people ties.
    • These interactions foster a better understanding of each other's societies and values.

Global Cooperation:

  • Pandemic Response:
    • During the COVID-19 pandemic, India and Taiwan collaborated on various fronts.
    • Taiwan expressed solidarity with India by providing medical supplies, and both sides engaged in information-sharing and cooperation to combat the global health crisis.

Challenges and Sensitivities:

  • One-China Policy:
    • India adheres to the "One-China" policy, recognizing the People's Republic of China as the legitimate government. This stance limits the scope for official diplomatic relations between India and Taiwan.
    • India maintains a representative office called the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center (TECC) in Taiwan, while Taiwan has the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in India.

Strategic Dimensions:

  • Regional Security:
    • India's engagement with Taiwan is largely economic and people-oriented, avoiding a direct challenge to the political status quo. The focus remains on regional security and stability, considering the complex geopolitical dynamics in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Indo-Pacific Cooperation:
    • Both India and Taiwan share interests in ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific. While formal diplomatic ties are absent, the two engage in dialogues and forums that promote regional cooperation and security.

Potential for Future Collaboration:

  • Technology and Innovation:
    • Given Taiwan's prowess in technology and innovation, there is potential for increased collaboration with India, especially in sectors like electronics, information technology, and renewable energy. Joint ventures and research initiatives could contribute to mutual growth.
  • Global Health and Innovation:
    • The collaboration during the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the potential for further cooperation in global health and innovation. Joint efforts in research, development, and manufacturing of healthcare solutions could be explored.


  • In conclusion, while India officially adheres to the "One-China" policy, its relationship with Taiwan has expanded in various dimensions, primarily economic and people-to-people ties.
  • The future may see increased collaboration in technology, innovation, and global issues, provided diplomatic sensitivities are navigated carefully in the evolving geopolitical landscape.

READ ALL ABOUT INDIA TAIWAN RELATIONS: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/india-taiwan-relations



Examine the historical trajectory and contemporary dimensions of India-Taiwan relations, considering economic, strategic, and geopolitical aspects. Analyze the factors influencing India's approach to Taiwan within the framework of the "One-China" policy, and assess the potential implications and challenges for India in maintaining a balance between economic interests and geopolitical considerations in the Indo-Pacific region.

India-Taiwan relations have evolved over time, marked by a pragmatic approach balancing economic interests and geopolitical considerations. The historical trajectory and contemporary dimensions of this relationship provide insights into India's nuanced stance within the framework of the "One-China" policy.

Historical Trajectory: Historically, India-Taiwan relations have been primarily economic and people-centric. Economic ties, especially in sectors like electronics and manufacturing, have grown substantially. Despite the absence of formal diplomatic ties, both nations maintain unofficial channels, such as the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center (TECC) in India, contributing to cultural and educational exchanges.

Contemporary Dimensions:

  • Economic Cooperation:
    • Economic collaboration forms the core of India-Taiwan relations. Taiwan's technological prowess and India's market potential have led to increased trade and investment. Noteworthy is the growth in Taiwanese investments in India, contributing to economic development.
  • Geopolitical Considerations:
    • India's approach to Taiwan is characterized by adherence to the "One-China" policy, recognizing the People's Republic of China (PRC) as the legitimate government. This adherence reflects India's commitment to diplomatic norms and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Balancing Act:
    • The challenge lies in striking a balance between economic engagement with Taiwan and geopolitical considerations, particularly in the context of Sino-Indian relations. India's careful navigation of this delicate balance involves managing economic ties without compromising broader strategic interests.
  • Indo-Pacific Dynamics:
    • India's engagement with Taiwan is situated within the broader Indo-Pacific dynamics. While not explicitly challenging the "One-China" policy, India seeks to play a role in ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific, where Taiwan is a significant actor. This aligns with shared concerns about regional stability and security.

Potential Implications and Challenges:

  • Geopolitical Sensitivities:
    • India's economic interests in Taiwan must be managed with sensitivity to avoid undue strain on its relations with the PRC. Striking a balance that advances economic interests without challenging diplomatic norms is crucial.
  • Regional Stability:
    • The evolving geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific region adds complexity. India must assess the potential implications of its relations with Taiwan on regional stability, ensuring that its actions contribute to peace and security.
  • Global Partnerships:
    • India needs to carefully position itself in the global arena, considering the impact of its Taiwan stance on its relationships with other major powers. Maintaining a balance requires a nuanced understanding of global power dynamics.

In conclusion, India-Taiwan relations reflect a delicate balance between economic interests and geopolitical considerations. India's historical and contemporary approach involves maximizing economic opportunities while adhering to diplomatic norms, thus contributing to regional stability and fostering a pragmatic and nuanced engagement. The evolving dynamics in the Indo-Pacific region will continue to shape India's strategy towards Taiwan.