From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Taiwan Strait
Mains level : One China Policy
India has for the first time referred to what it called “the militarization of the Taiwan Strait”, marking a rare instance of New Delhi appearing to comment on China’s actions towards Taiwan.
What is the news?
- Two American warships have recently sailed very close to China through Taiwan Strait.
- This has intimidated the China which is already fuming due to the visit of Nancy Pelosi.
- The Taiwan Strait is a 180-kilometer wide strait separating the island of Taiwan and continental China (and Asia of course).
- The strait is part of the South China Sea and connects to the East China Sea to the north.
- The narrowest part is 130 km wide.
Issues over Taiwan Strait
- The Taiwan Strait is itself a subject of an international dispute over its political status.
- China claims to enjoy sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the Taiwan Strait” and regards the waterway as “internal territorial waters” instead of being international waters.
- This means that the Chinese government denies any foreign vessel having the freedom of navigation in the strait.
- This position has drawn strong objections from the western World.
India’s change of stance
- India has followed a “One China policy” since its recognition of the PRC in 1949, and only maintains trade and cultural relations with Taiwan.
- India routinely reiterated this policy until 2008 after which it stopped mentioning it in official statements.
- This is a demand that China usually asks of most countries in official declarations.
Why is India shifting its stance?
- China often make provocative statements claiming Arunachal Pradesh.
- It often moves to issue “stapled visas” to Indian citizens in Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal.