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29th August 2022 (7 Topics)

India refers to ‘militarization’ of Taiwan Strait in spat with Chinese envoy


In line with its post-Galwan Valley clash policy of calling a spade a spade, India has for the first time used the phrase “militarization of the Taiwan Strait”.



Broadly defined, militarization is the cultural, symbolic, and material preparation for war. The process of becoming ready for conflict or war is militarization

  • India has registered its pronounced views over the situation in the Taiwan Strait related to China’s military drills.
  • The latest reference to Taiwan came over the visit of the Chinese military tracking vessel Yuan Wang 5 to Hambantota in Sri Lanka.
  • India referred to ‘militarization’ of Taiwan Strait in spat with Chinese envoy.

Taiwan Strait

  • The Taiwan Strait is a 180-kilometer (110 mi; 97 nmi)-wide strait separating the island of Taiwan and continental Asia.
  • The strait is part of the South China Sea and connects to the East China Sea to the north.

  • Recently, the Chinese Ambassador in Sri Lanka referred about the “aggression” faced by Sri Lanka from its “northern neighbor”. India has called it as a violation of basic diplomatic etiquette.
  • Previously the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) did not refer to the “militarization” of the Strait, only saying India was “concerned at recent developments” and “urged exercise of restraint, avoidance of unilateral actions to change status quo, de-escalation of tensions and efforts to maintain peace and stability in the region.”
  • The reaction of other countries: Earlier this month, Foreign Ministers of the G7-Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S. has also expressed concerns about China’s military activity in the Strait, referring to “threatening actions” by China.

Why is the visit of a Chinese vessel to Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port controversial?

  • Vessels of the Yuan Wang class are said to be used for tracking and supporting satellites as well as intercontinental ballistic missiles by the People's Liberation Army Strategic Support Force.
    • India has expressed its concern over the Chinese vessel visit.
  • China reacted strongly after Sri Lanka, following concerns voiced by India, requested China to defer the visit of the vessel.

Situation in Sri Lanka

  • Sri Lanka is currently navigating its way out of its worst-ever economic crisis, and is balancing the competing influences of India and China.
  • Chinese loans account for about 10% of the nation’s total foreign debt.
  • But since this year, India has also lent about $3.8bn to help Sri Lanka through its economic crisis.

India's stance on the status of Taiwan:

  • India has followed a “One China policy” since it recognized the PRC in 1949, and only maintains trade and cultural relations with Taiwan.
  • India has an office in Taipei for diplomatic functions — India-Taipei Association (ITA) is headed by a senior diplomat. Taiwan has the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center (TECC) in New Delhi.
  • The India-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Forum, established in 2016, is rarely active, and parliamentary visits are largely ad hoc.

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