With India's increasing influence in the South Asian region, Taiwan might want to extend its "go south" policy to include that country and seek more economic and political cooperation with the developing economy, a top official at the National Security Council (NSC) said yesterday.
"The world is observing the warming relations between the US and India, especially the most recent US-India nuclear agreement, which US President George W. Bush hopes the US Congress will endorse despite the fact that India has not signed the UN's nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty," council Deputy Secretary-General Parris Chang (
"India sees China as its biggest threat in the region and its alignment with the US reflects a change of course in its foreign policy," he said.
PHOTO: CHU PEI-HSIUNG, TAIPEI TIMES
Chang made the remarks on the last day of the Asia-Pacific Peace Watch conference in Taipei.
The two-day symposium was organized by the Taiwan Peace Foundation. While the first day of the forum focused on the security situation in Northeast Asia, the Taiwan Strait and Southeast Asia, the second centered on South Asia and the South Pacific.
Chang, who chaired the South Asia session yesterday, said that India's ambition to become one of the dominant powers in the region hinged on its relationships with the US and China.
In addition to building closer relations with the US, India last April agreed to forge a strategic relationship with Beijing.
Chen Han-hua (
What Taiwan can do to help is to provide South Asian countries with petrochemical technology, Chen said.
Chen also warned India of the dangers of dealing with the Chinese authorities, pointing out that China is very good at adopting the approach of "using warm water to cook frogs," meaning that the frog does not realize it is dying because it grows used to the warm temperature.
Senior adviser to the president and former vice premier Wu Rong-i (
Wu also emphasized that Taiwan had to become a stronger country before conducting talks with China.
"That is why it is so important for the legislature to pass the arms procurement plan as soon as possible," he said.
Analyzing China's influence in the South Pacific, Chang Yu-chang (
First, China wanted to buy diplomatic relations and isolate Taiwan, he said.
Chang said that China had invested US$4 million to build a stadium in Fiji and US$15.5 million to construct a swimming pool there.
China's generous contributions had won Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) a ticket to attend this year's China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum Ministerial Conference in Fiji in April, he said.
Second, China wanted to invest in natural resources in the region, he said.
Chang said that China had obtained the consent of Austria to obtain uranium from that country.
Finally, China wanted to mold the South Pacific to its own strategic requirements in order to counter the US in the region, Chang said.
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