Taiwan-India ties set to grow

There are growing calls in Indian think tank and media circles for India to step up cooperation with Taiwan, both to counter China and to deepen economic and other ties.

India has appointed an experienced diplomat to head their Taiwan office in a sign of the rising importance of India-Taiwan ties.

The prime ministers of Australia and Japan discussed the importance of Taiwan being an observer at the WHO’s World Health Assembly during their virtual meeting last Thursday, July 9. The two also talked about Quad (the two nations plus the US and India) cooperation and negative developments in the East and South China seas (thus implying recent Chinese acts).

Taiwan boasts a reserve force of over two million personnel on paper, but the reality is that few of them can really fight or be equipped in time of war. The government is aware of this problem and looking to improve this situation, though progress seems slow.

If China intends to invade Taiwan, they will need to capture this vital island “fortress” first. It’s not Matsu nor Kinmen.

Taiwan faces strategic
challenges in helping Hong Kong refugees and guarding against Chinese attacks, in my article for Hong Kong Free Press.

But apart from the external threat of China, Taiwan is the second-safest country in the world, according to online database Numbeo.

Taiwan will start subjecting investment from Hong Kong to tighter scrutiny to prevent Chinese money from infiltrating Taiwan’s economy. Currently, investment from Hong Kong is treated as normal foreign investment, and not subject to the same checks and limits as Chinese investment.

Taiwan has warned citizens from “high-risk groups” against traveling to Hong Kong in light of the broad scope of the national security law. These include people who have supported or donated to the Hong Kong protest movement; criticized the CCP, the HK government and “One Country, Two Systems;” or expressed support for Tibet, Xinjiang or HK independence.

Back in the 1990s and 2000s, Taiwan was famous for one thing - parliamentary brawls. Some people sure seem eager to return to that period of time, after KMT legislators stormed the Legislative Yuan (Taiwan’s parliament). This is the second time in less than three weeks after they tried to occupy the parliament on June 28. The KMT is disputing the appointment of Chen Chu to head the Control Yuan, Taiwan’s government watchdog.

Chen is a key presidential office advisor and long-time Kaohsiung mayor. The KMT allege that because her Kaohsiung city administration was investigated dozens of times by the Control Yuan, Chen is not qualified to head the body.