Beijing had been publicly stating that Paraguay – one of the very few diplomatic ally of Taiwan – would be able to receive the Chinese COVID-19 vaccines, if it cuts off ties with Taipei, claimed foreign minister Joseph Wu.
The Ganga Times, International Affairs: While we are busy with our elections in five states — West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala, and Puducherry, a major development has taken place in the Indian geopolitical sphere. India has supplied Coronavirus vaccines to Paraguay despite Chinese intimidation. This is considered as a big geopolitical event as it reportedly helped Paraguay maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan. India is getting approbation from across the world, since no other country including the United States came to help the South American nation.
Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said on Wednesday that his country worked with other democracies, including India, to help its diplomatic ally Paraguay get COVID-19 vaccines, despite huge Chinese pressure. All China wanted is Paraguay cuts off ties with Taipei in exchange for supply of vaccines. But India got the better of China’s plans by coming to help Asunción.
Paraguay had desperately been attempting to vaccinate its population. This led Taiwan to ask for help from India. “In the last few weeks, we have been speaking to like-minded countries, including Japan, the United States, India, etc., and India fortunately has been able to provide some Covaxin vaccines to Paraguay,” said the Taiwan foreign minister on Wednesday.
Only 15 countries recognise Taiwan
There are only 15 countries in the world that maintain formal diplomatic relation with Taiwan. As part of the One China policy, Beijing takes a tough stand against any nation that recognises Taiwan as a country by cutting off ties with them. The 15 countries who doesn’t abide by the One China Policy are: Belize, Eswatini, Guatemala, Haiti, Holy Sea, Honduras, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Nicaragua, Palau, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, and the Grenadines and Tuvalu.
China had been trying to severe ties between Paraguay and Taiwan by putting pressure on them if they want vaccines, claimed Joseph Wu. “If you look at those countries that are receiving the Chinese vaccines, whether it’s Brazil or Chile or El Salvador, I think it’s having a lot of impact on our diplomatic allies,” he said.
Even India doesn’t recognise Taiwan formally as it follows the ‘One China’ policy. The informal relation is maintained by trade offices in New Delhi and Taipei. These trade offices act as the de-facto embassies. However, in last few months, even since the Chinese army entered Ladakh, the relation between Beijing and New Delhi has deteriorated significantly. This resulted in India and Taiwan coming closer.
India saving Paraguay from falling prey to China has certainly put China on back-foot. Beijing is dazed, evident by the mouthpiece of the Communist Party of China — Global Times’ infuriating headline that reads “India’s head is swollen by ego to think it has a ‘Taiwan card’ to play“.