One-China? No need to reiterate our consistent policies, says India

NEW DELHI: While China has claimed that 160 countries reaffirmed commitment to its one-China principle following the visit to Taiwan by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, India said Friday its own “relevant policies are well known and consistent” and don’t require a reiteration. Breaking its silence on the Taiwan issue, and as China intensifies its military drills, the government expressed concern over the rising Cross-Strait tensions and called for restraint and for avoiding any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo.
While India follows a one-China policy, and has only unofficial ties with Taiwan, it stopped reiterating the same in bilateral documents with China well over a decade ago and following differences with Beijing over issues related to Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh.
“Like many other countries, India too is concerned at recent developments. We urge the 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,” said MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, responding to media queries about India’s position.
“India’s relevant policies are well-known and consistent. They do not require reiteration,” he added without directly referring to one-China.
Despite its one-China policy, the government clearly doesn’t want to be seen as enthusiastically and publicly endorsing what Beijing calls one-China principle at a time China stands accused of violating India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in eastern Ladakh and also when it continues to shield Pakistan-based and India-focused terrorists from UN sanctions.
Upset over China’s move to issue stapled visas to Kashmiris, the Manmohan Singh government stopped affirming commitment publicly to one-China in 2010 when it decided to not mention it in a joint statement that followed Singh’s meeting with then Premier Wen Jiabao. With border tensions only worsening since then, successive Indian governments have refrained from publicly iterating India’s One-China policy.
China sees its one-China principle as a “universal consensus of the international community and the political foundation” for China’s exchanges with other countries, including India.
According to Chinese ambassador Sun Weidong, India was among the first countries to recognize that there is one China. In an interview to ToI, he expressed hope that India will honor the one-China principle and support China’s efforts to defend its “sovereignty, security and development interests”.
In reply to another question about India-China relations, the official said India has consistently emphasised the “necessity of mutual respect, mutual sensitivity and mutual interests as a basis for the development of ties”. With China, india’s main concern for now remains the need to ensure that the disengagement process in eastern Ladakh is completed as soon as possible. According to Chinese authorities though, there are very few friction points left that need to be addressed and that the border situation should not come in the way of efforts to revive bilateral cooperation.

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