New Delhi has decided to expand cooperation with Taiwan in the fields of aviation, agriculture and allied services amidst signs of strain in India's relations with Mainland China.
A meeting of the union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved signing of the Air Services Agreement between India and Taiwan. The government also gave its ex post facto approval to a memorandum of understanding between India and Taiwan for cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors, official sources said after the meeting.
India, however, maintains a `One-China' policy and does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan. India and Taiwan do not have formal embassies in each other's capitals. The India Taipei Association in Taipei and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in New Delhi serve as representative offices of the two nations in each other's capitals.
The People's Republic of China does not recognise Taiwan - officially the Republic of China - as a separate nation. It also does not maintain ties with the nations that maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
Air services between India and Taiwan were so far governed by a MoU exchanged between Air India Charters Limited (AIRL) and Taipei Airlines Associations (TAA), the government stated in a press release issued on Wednesday. The new Air Services Agreement signifies an important landmark in the civil aviation relations between India and Taiwan, and has the potential to spur greater trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchanges between the two parties, it added.
The other MoU approved by the union cabinet on Wednesday provides for cooperation in agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, fisheries, aquaculture and food processing.
The other MoU provides for cooperation in the fields of agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, fisheries, aquaculture and food processing, genetic resources as well as environmental sustainability. Both sides will encourage the private sector in both countries to enter into cooperation in these areas. The cooperation between the two sides involves exchange of visits, information, technology and training and also expansion of agricultural trade while reducing trade barriers.
Under the MoU, a Joint Working Committee will be constituted to identify priority areas of mutual interest and follow up on the progress of implementation of the activities identified by both sides. The MoU will be initially signed for a period of five years and shall be automatically renewed for a subsequent periods of five years unless either party expresses its desire/intention to terminate it.