Interaction with the Cross-Straits Interflow Prospect Foundation
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On 31st October 2012, the Vivekananda International Foundation organized an interactive session with the Cross-Straits Interflow Prospect Foundation from Taiwan. The Prospect Foundation was represented by their President Mr. Kuang Chung Liu, Vice-President Mr. Yang-Ming Sun, Dr. Tuan-Yao Cheng, Ms. Tsun-Tzu Hsu, Mr. Shih-Wei Yao and Ms. Yu-Chen Chung.

The discussion was moderated by Mr. Ajit Doval, Director,VIF. Chairman, VIF Adm.(retd) K. K. Nayyar, Joint Director Amb. P. P. Shukla, Gen.(retd) N. C. Vij, Lt.Gen.(retd) Ravi Sawhney, Amb. Satish Chandra, Air Marshal (retd) S. G. Inamdar, Air Marshal (retd.) K. K. Nohwar and Former Secretary R&AW Mr. Jaidev Ranade and other senior researchers represented the VIF faculty.

The two hour long interaction included some detailed and heavy discussion on topics pertaining to the security of East and South Asia, the economic integration of the Asian nations, especially that between Taiwan and India, the forthcoming political transition in China and its implications and situation in Asia-Pacific.

On the economic front, it was felt that there was a great potential for strengthening the economic linkages between Taiwan and India. Elaborating some statistics, the Prospect Foundation highlighted that the Taiwanese Business groups, especially in the manufacturing sectors, have recently been moving out of China for several reasons, like rising labour costs, depleting benefits and limited economic reforms, etc. Though after China, the Taiwanese Business community prefers Indonesia, due to regional proximity, the Taiwan Government has been making serious efforts to encourage trade and economic relations with India. It was also emphasized that Taiwan and its business community seeks political stability and a consistent economic policy, hinting that India could be the next final destination if these among other factors are taken care of. Also mentioned was the importance opening up of Myanmar which could present opportunities to both the countries for undertaking joint projects. There were also possibilities for India to strengthen its trade and economic relations through such groupings as ASEAN plus 6 and even the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

As far as security issues were concerned it was acknowledged that there was a need for ensuring code of conduct in the maritime issues relating to South China Sea. It was stated that any kind of unilateralism in the international water bodies must be discouraged and an amicable approach should be pushed for. It was admitted that Asia, at present, is the “gravity centre of the international political economy and international relations”, where all the global powers, including the US, Russia, Japan, China, India, etc., are involved in complex strategic dynamics. There was need for a regional governing institution to deal with the issues, which, if ignored, could flare up into conflicts. Also, the need for an increased sharing of information was emphasized so as to ensure the peace and stability in the region.

Discussion on political transition in China and its implications attracted contrasting perspectives. While the Prospect Foundation felt that the new Chinese Government will be tougher but not aggressive to its neighbours, the VIF team highlighted that the Chinese Government has already been taking a tough and aggressive stance, hinting that the new changes could bring in some hardliners posing further challenges to India and, perhaps, Taiwan. The narrow line of margin between a tough and an aggressive policy was debated upon. India needs to be prepared for the worst and hope for the best to happen for all including itself, Taiwan, China and the entire region. The interaction also included the effects of these political changes in China on its economic growth and the recent slowdown. However, a crucial point which was highlighted was that for China, in the next decade or so, the biggest challenge will not be an external one but rather an internal one of democratic reforms. This process of internal political reform, if it is to happen, would be highly critical to the peace and stability of Asia and perhaps the entire world. Possibilities of China externalizing its internal struggle were also discussed.

The discussions concluded with drawing out a framework for further cooperation between the two institutes.

Event Date 
October 31, 2012
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