Friday, July 2, 2010

Frightened by a dragon, India shies away from Taiwan

MD Nalapat The National
Last Updated: June 27. 2010 8:50PM UAE / June 27. 2010 4:50PM GMT
The two Asian giants may share a 4,250-kilometre border and trade goods and services in excess of $60 billion every year, but when it comes to slights – perceived and otherwise – Beijing’s memory is elephantine.

India has given sanctuary to the Dalai Lama since 1959 and harbours more than 130,000 Tibetan refugees. In return, China has helped India’s rival Pakistan acquire nuclear weapons and missile systems. It helped block India’s membership in the UN Security Council and fought to the last minute in 2008 to prevent the lifting of restrictions on nuclear trade with India.

It is no wonder then that while there has been only one war between the two nations in 4,000 years (China soundly defeated India in 1962), relations between the two countries have been cool, if not frigid. Beijing believes in an eye-for-an-eye, preferably two – a penchant that drives the hand-wringing, naturally timid Indian establishment slightly crazy.

Nowhere is that fear more evident than in relations between India and Taiwan, a small island that nonetheless boasts an economy more than a third of the size of India, with foreign-exchange reserves double the size of New Delhi’s, at about $400 billion.
Frightened by a dragon, India shies away from Taiwan
China Trade Pact Draws Taiwan Into Economic Embrace June 28, 2010, 9:06 PM EDT By Frederik Balfour

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