One China Policy and Taiwan Issue

US Speaker of House of Representatives visited Taiwan. This visit was opposed by China. China pointed to take violent measures against the visit. China believes that the visit will compromise ‘One China Policy’. One China Policy refers to US and larger world’s recognition of sovereign rights of China over Taiwan.


  • Present day China is Known as People’s Republic of China, while Taiwan is Known as Republic of China.
  • RoC was declared on December 29, 1911under leadership of Dr Sun Yat-sen, founder of Kuomintang (KMT) Party.
  • Under leadership of General Chiang Kai-shek, a civil war started between Chinese communist Party and KMT resulting in victory of the former, which led to retreat of KMT to Taiwan, while Communists taking control of Mainland China(PRC).
  • Since 1949 PRC believes that Taiwan must be reunified with the mainland.
  • During the cold war RoC was the only ‘China’ recognised at the UN until 1971.
  • US inaugurated ties with the PRC and finally PRC was recognised as the actual China replacing Taiwan.
  • US backs Taiwan’s independence but officially subscribes to PRC’s “One China Policy”, which means there is only one legitimate Chinese government. Thus, Taiwan is not part of any international organisations where sovereignty is a condition.
  • Ukraine war, rise of China and US led initiative of countering China especially in the Indo-Pacific region has increased the focus on Taiwan.
  • Scholars argue that in recent years, US has diluted its ‘One China’ policy and taken up a ambiguous stance over the issue.


  • One of the most important manufacturers of silicon chips which are bedrock of modern electronics industry. (TSMC)
  • Access to Taiwan will increase the EEZ of China giving access to critical marine resources.
  • Access to Taiwan will increase Chinese Navy’s reach significantly.
  • China considers Taiwan as one of its’ core national interest issues.
  • Taiwan has been important manufacturing and industrial centre in East Asia.


India has been following the One China Policy with regards to the issue of Taiwan and Hong Kong. However, in the context of turbulence in India China relations owing to the Galwan Valley clash there has been a call for reviewing the One China policy that India has followed till date.


  • Communist Party of China (CPC) , after it occupied mainland China in 1949, pushing out then ruling Kuomintang Party to Formosa, now known as Taiwan, communist regime came up with One China policy.
  • It staked claim on a much bigger territory of Tibet, then under a Buddhist order government with practically no military, besides Taiwan.
  • China occupied Tibet by 1950 and consolidated its military stranglehold on the region through the decade.
  • It has been aiming to capture Taiwan since then but in the face of global opposition, China has not dared to carry out its designs across the Formosa Strait in the South China Sea.
  • India was among the first countries to recognise communist rule in China. Through the 1954 Sino- Indian Trade Agreement, India also acknowledged Chinese control of Tibet.
  • India’s support to One China policy remained in limbo until 2003. It was during this intervening period that China built its south Tibet claim over Arunachal Pradesh.
  • In 2003, then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee – heading another BJP-led NDA government – signed a joint declaration with his counterpart Wen Jiabao in Beijing. This declaration recognised that the Tibet Autonomous Region is part of the territory of the People’s Republic of China.


  • Diplomatic relations have improved between India and Taiwan since 1990s, but they do have official diplomatic relations.
  • India recognises only the People’s Republic of China (in mainland China) and not the Republic of China’s claims of being the legitimate government of Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau.
  • However, Taiwan views India’s rising geopolitical standing as a counterbalance to the PRC’s dominance in the region.
  • As a part of its “Look East” foreign policy, India has sought to cultivate extensive ties with Taiwan in trade and investment and cultural ties.
  • India-Taipei Association was established in Taipei in 1995 to promote non-governmental interactions between India and Taiwan.
  • In 2002, the two sides signed the Bilateral Investment Promotion & Protection Agreement.
  • In 2019, India – Taiwan trade volume was US$7 billion, growing at a rate of 20% year on year.
  • Major Taiwanese exports to India include integrated circuits, machinery and other electronic products. India is also keen to attract Taiwanese investment particularly in hi-tech and labour-intensive industries. More than 80 Taiwanese companies and entities currently have a presence in India.


  • In 2020, two members of Indian Parliament virtually attended newly electedPresidentTsai’s swearing in ceremony and praised Taiwanese democracy, thereby sending what some have termed a warning message to China and signaling a strengthening of relations between the Tsai and Modi administrations.
  • In 2020, Indian government appointed a top career diplomat, Joint Secretary Gourangalal Das, former head of U.S. division in India’s Ministry of External Affairs, as its new envoy to Taiwan.
  • Ahead of Taiwan’s national day, the Chinese embassy in India penned a letter to Indian media houses asking them to adhere to the government’s One- China policy.
  • Indian External Affairs Ministry brushed away the Chinese criticism by simply saying that the Indian media is free to carry what they want. Significantly, MEA did not re-iterate India’s One-China policy.
  • MEA in its communiques with China has stopped highlighting One China Policy.
  • Despite recognition of One-China policy has been adamant on its claims on India’s territory of Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh.
  • The hostilities have only increased in recent years.
  • Many Taiwanese companies are planning to remove their manufacturing centres and shift to India. This will create employment and economic growth in India.
  • China has never followed the One-India policy.
  • It recently announced that it does not accept Ladakh  as a Union Territory, and while ignoring Indian  objections constructs roads through disputed Gilgit- Baltistan.
  • Simultaneously, it diplomatically censures India whenever there are visits by Indian leaders or foreign diplomats to Arunachal Pradesh.
  • China has also blocked foreign funding for developmental projects in Arunachal claiming it to be disputed.
  • China has supported insurgencies in the Northeast.
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