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STRATEGIES FOR INDIA TO PREVENT A CHINA-TAIWAN CONFLICT



  Apr 04, 2024

STRATEGIES FOR INDIA TO PREVENT A CHINA-TAIWAN CONFLICT



Amid growing tensions across the Taiwan Strait, India finds its interests increasingly intertwined with the stability of this region. China's claim over Taiwan and the potential for conflict pose significant risks not just for the involved parties but for India as well. Given the substantial stakes, India has compelling reasons to contribute to preventing a conflict between China and Taiwan. Here’s a closer look at why maintaining the status quo is vital for India and what strategies it could employ.

Reasons for India to Maintain the Status Quo

1. Economic and Trade Interests: India's trade with Taiwan has seen significant growth, and both countries are exploring a free trade agreement. Collaborations, such as the partnership between Power chip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation and Tata Group, highlight deepening economic ties. An enduring peaceful status quo benefits India's industry, critical supply chains, and overseas population.

2. Global Trade Implications: A conflict involving China and Taiwan could severely disrupt global trade, with a Bloomberg study estimating a potential impact of over 10% of global GDP. For India, the repercussions would be particularly severe, affecting crucial sectors like electronics and pharmaceuticals due to the disruption of component and material supplies.

3. Regional Stability and Security: Beyond economic implications, a China-U.S. war extending from a Taiwan conflict could escalate tensions along the India-China border, risk nuclear escalation, and destabilize the region’s security architecture. The outcome of such a conflict could further exacerbate India’s strategic vulnerabilities, especially if China were to emerge as the dominant regional military power.


India’s Policy Options

Given these considerations, India has a range of policy levers to discourage Chinese aggression towards Taiwan and contribute to regional stability:

1. International Law and Diplomatic Messaging: Leveraging international law arguments and coordinated diplomatic efforts to build narratives opposed to aggression can underscore the global consensus for peace and stability.

2. Economic De-Risking: Diversifying away from vulnerable supply chains and reducing economic dependencies can mitigate the impacts of potential conflicts, making the status quo more attractive.

3. Active Information Operations: Supporting the morale and resilience of the Taiwanese people through information campaigns can help sustain their resistance against coercion.

4. Military Support in the Indian Ocean: While direct involvement in a Taiwan conflict is unlikely, India can bolster deterrence by providing logistical and intelligence support to U.S. forces operating in the Indian Ocean, enhancing the overall cost to China of military action.

These strategies are not only about preventing a China-Taiwan conflict; they also serve India's broader strategic interests. By actively participating in shaping the regional balance of power, India can secure its own rise on the global stage, deepen cooperation with key partners like the U.S., and assert a leadership role among Global South nations.

India's approach to the Taiwan question reflects a delicate balance between its non-aligned traditions and the imperatives of its growing global ambitions. In navigating this challenge, India demonstrates its capacity to influence outcomes in far-off disputes, underscoring the interconnected nature of today’s geopolitical landscape.


SRIRAM’s

 


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