China’s One-China Policy: China views Taiwan as a breakaway province that will one day unite with it. Beijing has not ruled out the possible use of force to reunify the self-ruled island with the mainland. It routinely protests any foreign dignitaries’ visits to Taiwan, insisting that all countries follow the One-China Policy.
- In 1949, at the end of the Chinese civil war, Mao Zedong’s communist forces ousted Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang (KMT)-led government of the Republic of China (ROC).
- The defeated ROC forces escaped to Taiwan where they established their government, while the victorious Communists began ruling the mainland as the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
- The two sides have been governed separately since, though a shared cultural and linguistic heritage mostly endures — with Mandarin spoken as the official language in both places.
- For over seven decades, Beijing has continued to view Taiwan as a Chinese province and vows to “unify” it with the mainland. Beijing’s stance is that there is only “one China” and that Taiwan is part of it, a view that is not held by all within the island nation.
Where do other countries stand?
International inter-governmental bodies like the United Nations and the World Trade Organization don’t officially recognise the ROC. Only 15 countries recognise it.
- Initially, the United States recognised Taiwan as they shied away from Communist China. However, diplomatic winds shifted and the US seeing a need to develop relations with China, recognised the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and derecognised the Republic of China (ROC) in 1979 under President Jimmy Carter. The US also moved its embassy to Beijing from Taipei.
- However, the US Congress passed the Taiwan Relations Act in 1979 to protect the significant US security and commercial interest in Taiwan.
- To this day, the US “One China” position stands: the United States recognises the People’s Republic of China as “the sole legal government” of China but only acknowledges the Chinese position that Taiwan is part of China.
India, which was one of the first non-communist countries to recognise Zedong’s PRC in 1950, has also stuck by the One-China Policy. However, for New Delhi, the One-China Policy doesn’t just govern Taiwan but also Tibet. While India doesn’t recognise Taiwan or any Tibetan authority as independent of China, there has been a clamour for India to revisit its stance over China’s continuing aggression at Indian borders.
- 2010: Over the years, meetings between leaders of India and China routinely reaffirmed the One-China Policy, However, India stopped doing so in 2010 after then Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit.
- But India declined to reaffirm the policy after Beijing issued “stapled visas” instead of normal visas to Jammu and Kashmir residents travelling to China.
- 2014: When Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014, he invited Taiwanese Ambassador Chung-Kwang Tien and Lobsang Sangay, the president of Central Tibetan Administration to his swearing-in ceremony.
- 2020: BJP’s Meenakshi Lekhi and Rahul Kaswan attended the swearing-in of Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen through virtual mode.
- India’s relations with China strained after the Galwan clashes in 2020, and New Delhi picked Gourangalal Das – then joint secretary (Americas) in the Ministry of External Affairs – as the ambassador to Taipei.
Indian Government facilitates and promotes interactions in areas of trade, investment and tourism, culture and education, and people-to-people exchanges. India has one office in Taipei for diplomatic functions. The India-Taipei Association (ITA) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in New Delhi were both established in 1995.
Source: News 18
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