On February 25, Taiwan Asia Exchange Foundation (TAEF) launched its policy report titled Taiwan and India: Strategizing the Relations edited by Prof Alan H. Yang, Executive Director, TAEF, and Dr. Sana Hashmi, Visiting Fellow, TAEF. The first-of-its-kind policy report on Taiwan-India relations with 18 contributors from Taiwan and India offer diverse perspectives on different aspects of Taiwan-India relations including kind contributions from Mr. Gourangalal Das, Director General, India Taipei Association (ITA) and Mr. Bau Shuan Ger, Representative, Taipei Economic and Cultural Center (TECC).
Welcoming remarks were given by Prof. Michael Hsiao, Chairman, TAEF where he illustrated the reasons for publishing this report, and also highlighted the expanding research program on Taiwan-India relations at the TAEF. First, through this report, TAEF is striving to bridge the knowledge gap in scholarship on Taiwan-India relations. Second, with Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy and India’s Act East Policy gaining traction, this timely report proposes to look at several niche areas where advanced level of joint collaboration can be explored within the framework of the New Southbound and Act East Policies. Third, this is to generate more awareness about India’s policies and interests in Taiwan. Fourth, with this report, TAEF wishes to express gratitude to ITA and TECC for their tireless work towards advancing Taiwan-India ties for 25 years. 2020 was the 25th anniversary of the establishment of Taiwan-India ties.
Ambassador Tien Chung-Kwang, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Taiwan, and Mr. Gourangalal Das also addressed at the report launch.
Ambassador Tien, who served as Taiwan’s representative to India for more than seven years, in his remarks, said that India has been regarded as one of the major partner countries under Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy since the policy’s establishment in 2018. Besides, recently a franchise model of Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF) was held successfully for the first time by TECC and the U.S. embassy in India.
Mr. Das, in his remarks, stated, “prospects of India Taiwan relations have never been better and relations moving in the right direction”.
Editors of the report Dr. Alan Yang and Dr. Sana Hashmi briefly presented the overview of the report who said that the report is unique as this is the first comprehensive literature on relations, covering diverse subjects not only on trade and economy but also on semiconductors, health, media, culture, etc. For a long time, the relations have suffered from the problem of lack of enough scholarship and consistent dialogue between the strategic community of Taiwan and India. Through this report and its other efforts, TAEF is trying to promote exchanges between Taiwanese and Indian civil societies and think tanks. This report is one such example where Taiwanese and Indian scholars collaborated in a meaningful way.
Taiwan-based contributors Dr. Lai I-Chung, Ms. Kristy Hsu, Mr. Chen Kuan-Ting, and Dr. Priya Lalwani Purswaney also briefly talked about their contributions.
Dr. Lai from the Prospect Foundation who has written on the post-pandemic cooperation between Taiwan and India believed that Taiwan-India relations should now further extend strategic cooperation.
Ms. Kristy Hsu from Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research who contributed a piece on Taiwan-India economic ties looked forward to new developments on the negotiation of the Taiwan-India free trade agreement, which is important for India to become part of the global supply chain.
Mr. Chen Kuan-Ting from Taiwan NextGen Foundation wrote a piece on India-Taiwan cultural exchanges in the report, pointed out that Buddhism played an important role as interlocutor for the two sides.
Dr. Priya Lalwani Purswaney, an English-Chinese interpreter based in Taiwan for more than 40 years, introduced the people-to-people exchange between the two countries from the perspectives of culture, diaspora, education, and language.
There was consensus among the contributors of the report that there is immense potential in Taiwan-India relations, and that relations are moving in the right direction.
The launch was attended by Taiwan-based contributors of the report, representatives from Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, members of the diplomatic corps, industry leaders, journalists, and scholars alike.