Foreign Policy Watch: India-China

Preventing a China-Taiwan conflict


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NA

Mains level: Reason behind the maintaining in China-Taiwan conflict

Why in the News?

India, with growing national interests, faces entanglements in disputes like Taiwan. While China claims Taiwan, India is unlikely to engage militarily, focusing on safeguarding its economic and security interests.


  • The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) recently achieved an unprecedented third consecutive term in Taiwan’s legislative elections, defying China’s threats and hostilities.
  • Taiwan’s legislative assembly faces a unique scenario with no clear majority for the first time in twenty years, which complicates policymaking and interactions with China.

Three reasons for Indian Government to maintain the Status quo:

  • Firstly, India is interested in maintaining the current state, wherein Taiwan operates as a self-governing territory without asserting independence.
  • Secondly, Chinese aggression against Taiwan would be catastrophically costly for India. A recent Bloomberg study estimates that the costs of a conflict would amount to over 10% of global GDP. India’s economy would suffer a greater shock than the U.S. economy and its most valuable sectors, from electronics to pharmaceuticals, would run dry of components and materials.
  • Thirdly, if China wins, it could become more confident and expand its influence, possibly reaching the Indian Ocean. This could pose significant challenges to India’s strategic interests and territorial integrity, potentially leading to increased tensions, especially in Arunachal Pradesh.

Scope for Indian Government:

  • Utilize International Law: India can leverage international legal frameworks to advocate for peaceful resolutions and oppose aggression against Taiwan.
  • Narrative Building: India can shape narratives against aggression, highlighting the risks and consequences of military conflict.
  • Diplomatic Coordination: India can work with other nations to coordinate diplomatic efforts aimed at dissuading China from military action.
  • Economic Measures: India can undertake economic de-risking measures to minimize vulnerabilities and reduce dependence on China like economic relations with other countries
  • Information Operations: India can engage in information campaigns to support the Taiwanese people and raise awareness about the situation.
  • Military Support: India can support U.S. forces in the Indian Ocean, enhancing deterrence capabilities and signalling commitment to regional stability.

Conclusion: India, prioritizing economic and security interests, maintains the Taiwan status quo. To prevent conflict, it leverages international law, builds narratives against aggression, coordinates diplomacy, and considers economic diversification while supporting regional stability.

Mains PYQ

Q China is using its economic relations and positive trade surplus as tools to develop potential military power status in Asia’, In the light of this statement, discuss its impact on India as her neighbor. (UPSC IAS/2017)

Q With respect to the South China sea, maritime territorial disputes and rising tension affaire the need for safeguarding maritime security to ensure freedom of navigation and ever flight throughout the region. In this context, discuss the bilateral issues between India and China. ( UPSC IAS/2014)

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