Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou’s visit to Taiping/Itu Aba Island in the Spratly Islands on 28 January 2016 was justified among other things on the grounds that he visited men and women in uniform before every Lunar New Year and that he was seeking to clarify the legal status of the island.
There are however, some issues that need to be considered.
For one, Ma did not mention the visit to Taiping of his predecessor Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in February 2008. Standing before military personnel this omission perhaps weakened Taiwan’s/Republic of China’ (ROC) image and position, which is to say that there is an element of dissonance between the Kuomintang’s (KMT) position and that of its political rival. Continue reading Interpreting Ma Ying-jeou’s Visit to Taiping Island
Published by the World Politics Review’s Global Insider as “Taiwanese President’s Stopover in India Sign of a Warming Trend,” on 20 April 2012. These questions were answered together with Dr. Fang Tien-sze, Assistant Professor, National Tsing-hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan.
WPR: How have India-Taiwan relations evolved over the past 10 years?
Fang Tien-sze and Jabin T. Jacob: India-Taiwan relations have improved gradually in many areas over the past few years. Bilateral trade has expanded from $1.1 billion in 2001 to $7.6 billion in 2011. The two sides signed a bilateral investment and protection agreement in 2002 and agreements on double taxation and customs assistance in July 2011. India and Taiwan have also commissioned think tanks to jointly study the feasibility and likely results of a free trade agreement. In the field of education, in March 2010 the two sides decided to recognize each other’s academic degrees and certificates in higher education, facilitating student mobility for advanced studies and job purposes. Earlier, in 2007, the two signed an agreement on scientific and technological cooperation, creating a joint committee that meets every year to formulate cooperation programs and activities.
At the political level, New Delhi appears to be showing increasing flexibility. Continue reading India-Taiwan Relations: Slow and Steady Does It