Mon, Sep 24, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Tsai touts better ties on India trip

NEW PARTNERSHIP:The former head of the DPP said that the south Asian nation could be a key ally, while a source said the alliance could help to counter China-Pakistan ties

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former Democratic Progressive Party chairperson Tsai Ing-wen speaks at a Mid-Autumn Festival banquet for Taiwanese businesspeople in New Delhi, India, on Saturday where she stressed India’s importance as a strategic partner for Taiwan.

Photo: CNA

India could become one of the most important partners in Taiwan’s next-generation global strategic arrangement “regardless of which party is in power,” former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said in New Delhi yesterday as she continued intensive meetings with academics during her visit to the south Asian country.

Tsai made the comment on Saturday at an evening banquet, organized by Taiwan’s representative office in India and attended by about 100 Taiwanese businesspeople to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival.

The former DPP presidential candidate is in India on a 10-day trip that started on Wednesday last week and runs until Friday. It is her first time to the country.

“[India] has been a country we were not that familiar with in the past, but it will be one of the most important countries in the next generation,” Tsai said.

“Regardless of which political party is in power, India’s importance — as well as the ambitions of our global strategy — are the same,” she added.

Tsai, who arrived in New Delhi on Thursday, continued her meetings with local think tanks and organizations in the nation’s political center, where she met with the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses for a discussion on “Democracy and its Prospects and Pitfalls in East Asia.”

She also met the Feedback Foundation, a non-profit organization that focuses on social development and urban reform as well as water, sanitation and waste management, over the weekend.

Her delegation, which included Antonio Chiang, who served in the National Security Council during the 1990s, also attended a meeting with the India-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group yesterday.

The desire for both sides to become more knowledgeable about each other appears strong, a delegation member said, with Indian academics and national security officials keen to exchange views on China and the DPP’s future. India is likely to establish closer ties with Taiwan due to China’s close economic and military ties with Pakistan, they added.

“For Taiwan, India is a huge market waiting to be explored,” said the member, who wished to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak on the issue.

The delegation also met academics from the Vivenkananda International Foundation and the Institute of Chinese Studies in New Delhi and exchanged views on cross-strait affairs, the DPP’s future China policy as well as the “Taiwan Consensus,” which Tsai initiated during her presidential campaign as the backbone of her China policy.

Following her stay in New Delhi, Tsai is scheduled to fly to Mumbai today before returning to Taiwan on Friday.

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