India steps up parliamentary ties with Taiwan

Relations between Taiwan and India have moved up a notch with India's recent formation of the India-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Forum (ITPAF), Taiwan's representative office in India said Wednesday.

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Center (TECC) in New Delhi said the ITPAF was formed Dec. 16 by members of the lower house of India's bicameral parliament, the Lok Sabha (House of the People).

So far, 22 members of the Lok Sabha across party lines have joined the ITPAF, and the number continues to grow, according to Harish Chandra Meena, a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who wrote to the TECC about the matter.

In his letter, Meena said the ITPAF was established with the aim of forging closer ties between members of India's lower house of Parliament and Taiwan's Legislature and enhancing the socioeconomic and cultural links between the two countries.

He said he was impressed with Taiwan's flourishing democracy, economic development, and social diversity and he hoped the ITPAF would help forge stronger ties between Taiwan and India.

Taiwan's representative to India James Tien (???) said that although there had been many exchanges between parliamentarians of the two countries in the past, the ITPAF would make it "more official."

He said that with the establishment of the Taiwan-India Parliamentary Friendship Association in Taiwan's Legislature in April, he could see strong bilateral cooperation in the future.

The parliamentary association and ITPAF will play a substantive role in complementing the diplomatic efforts of both governments, Tien said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel