As Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen was sworn for a second term, two MP from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were among the dignitaries from 41 countries who sent in messages of congratulation that were played at the inaugural ceremony.
A joint message from BJP MPs Meenakshi Lekhi and Rahul Kaswan praised Taiwan as “a democratic country”. “Both India and Taiwan are democratic countries, bonded by shared values of freedom, democracy and respect for human rights. Over the past years, India and Taiwan have enhanced bilateral relations enormously in wide-ranging areas, especially trade, investment and people to people exchanges,” the two lawmakers said in their message. A separate video message from Ms. Lekhi was also played at the inaugural, in which she wished Ms. Tsai “great success and the continued strengthening of the comprehensive relations between India and Taiwan”.
At Ms. Tsai’s last inauguration in 2016, India had at the last minute decided against sending two MPs to attend the event, concerned about the possible fallout on ties with China.
India was represented at the ceremony by Sohang Sen, the acting director general of the India Taipei Association. India does not have a formal mission in Taipei as it is among 179 of the 194 member states of the United Nations that do not maintain diplomatic ties.
In her speech, Ms. Tsai called for Taiwan and China to have dialogue, but ruled out any likelihood of a “one country, two systems” framework that China has proposed, along the lines of its administration over Hong Kong, which returned to China in 1997.
“We will not accept the Beijing authorities’ use of ‘one country, two systems’ to downgrade Taiwan and undermine the cross-strait status”, said Ms. Tsai.
Several senior U.S. dignitaries sent messages of congratulation, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the presumptive Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden, Senior Director of the U.S. National Security Council Mike Pottinger, and Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell.