Boosting exchanges with India would be prioritized in the government’s New Southbound Policy, as the US is actively engaging India in its Indo-Pacific strategy to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a Cabinet official said on Saturday.
The New Southbound Policy covers 18 nations: the 10 ASEAN members, six South Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand.
Among South and Southeast Asian countries, India is the only one that dares voice its opposition to China, and it is an important actor in the US’ Indo-Pacific strategy, which has prompted the Executive Yuan to pay more attention to the country in its regional and diplomatic work, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Many Indian graduates in the areas of science and technology have visited Taiwan for internships or work, with many engineers working in Taiwan’s science parks, the official said, adding that Taiwan and India could further advance talent exchanges in related areas.
However, bilateral interactions this year have been limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially as the outbreak in India remains severe, the official said.
This year’s planned exhibition on Taiwan-India exchanges under the New Southbound Policy has been transformed into a virtual event and delayed until Dec. 16 to 18, the official added.
India-China relations have been tense since soldiers from the two sides clashed along the Line of Actual Control in May.
Repeated attempts by the Chinese embassy in New Delhi to intervene with the Indian media, including a demand that they respect Beijing’s “one China principle” when covering Taiwan’s Double Ten National Day celebrations, have backfired.
Taiwan-India ties are promising, said Minister Without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中), who manages the New Southbound Policy, when asked about an upsurge of anti-China and pro-Taiwan sentiment in India.
Asked about the Cabinet official’s remark that India ties would be prioritized, Deng said that every country covered by the policy is important and that Taiwan-India relations have greatly improved over the past few years.
Citing an example, Deng said that Taiwan in 2018 renewed a bilateral trade agreement with India following only a year of negotiations.
It shows that New Delhi attaches great importance to Taiwan’s investment environment, as it tends to conduct longer negotiations with other countries before signing an investment agreement, he said.
Taiwan has attracted many high-tech professionals from India, while some Taiwanese tech giants have invested in India, he said.
VIGILANCE: While two of the cases are family members of a nurse, there is no sign of community spread and the source of infection is identifiable, the CECC said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported four new domestic COVID-19 cases associated with a cluster infection at a Taoyuan hospital. Since the first case was identified on Tuesday last week, five healthcare workers — two doctors and three nurses — at the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Taoyuan General Hospital have tested positive for the virus. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that two of the four new cases are the husband and daughter of a nurse (case No. 863) who had earlier been confirmed to have COVID-19. The husband (case No. 864)
INCURSION: After 13 PLA aircraft flew into Taiwan’s ADIZ, the US Department of State said that China should rather ‘engage in meaningful dialogue’ with Taiwan US President Joe Biden’s administration on Saturday urged China to stop placing military pressure on Taiwan, while calling on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to engage in peaceful dialogue. The statement by the US Department of State was issued after 13 Chinese military aircraft flew into Taiwan’s southwest air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Saturday, the highest number observed in a single day this year, the Ministry of National Defense said. The air force scrambled fighter jets to monitor the Chinese aircraft, issuing radio warnings and mobilizing air defense assets until the planes left the ADIZ. The US “notes
CHANGE OF GUARD: Hsiao Bi-khim’s attendance at Joe Biden’s inauguration will come as a boost to those in Taiwan who feared that the new US administration would be less friendly than that of Donald Trump to the nation Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) is to attend US President Joe Biden’s swearing-in ceremony at the US Capitol after she was invited by the US Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, a news release issued by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the US said last night. The news came as a surprise as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had been reticent about the matter, while Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) members had accused the Democratic Progressive Party administration of hedging its bets on the Republican Party. Asked about when Hsiao received the invitation, the ministry did not
FAMILY UNIT: The CECC warned that the eldest sister of the latest case, who also has COVID-19, visited Taoyuan’s Chungping evening market on Tuesday and Wednesday The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported a domestic case of COVID-19, associated with a recent cluster infection at Taoyuan General Hospital, and two imported cases. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that the latest case (No. 885) is a woman in her 50s, who is the third daughter of case No. 881, a man in his 90s. The woman is the main caregiver of her elderly father, who had been hospitalized earlier this month and was treated by a nurse (case No. 852) from Monday to Thursday last week, he said, adding that