A ‘Tindal’ Effect…
The US has decided to deploy fighter jets, capable of carrying nuclear bombs, in Australia, a country belonging to the QUAD (or the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, a strategic security dialogue between Australia, India, Japan and the US that is maintained by talks between member countries). The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has reported that six US B-52 bombers will initially be stationed at an air base in northern Australia.
Washington DC has engaged in a conflict with China since the visit of House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan in August 2022. Experts believe that Pentagon’s plan to deploy B-52 bombers in Australia is significant, in this atmosphere.
According to the ABC report, preparations have already begun for the deployment of US fighter jets at Tindal Base of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), 320km by road from Darwin. However, neither the Australian Army nor the Government of Australia is yet to issue any statement on this.
A section of Defence Experts is of the opinion that the Pentagon’s move is aimed at confronting China in the Indo-Pacific Region. They have claimed that the US made an indication in this regard during the first QUAD Summit in the last week of September 2022. President Joe Biden, and Prime Ministers of Australia, India and Japan attended the Summit in Washington DC.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs of Taiwan Chern-Chyi Chen, along with a 70-member trade delegation, visited India in the first week of November, amid ensuing tension with China. India, fearing that its relations with China might deteriorate, did not sign trade agreements with Taiwan in the past. However, the scenario changed after the clash between the Indian Army and the Chinese Army near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh in 2020.
During his visit to India, Chen discussed bilateral financial and trade cooperation with Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi. They also discussed various aspects of bilateral ties. Incidentally, the Modi Administration in New Delhi allowed three private software technology companies of Taiwan to invest in India in 2020. According to sources close to the Government of India, the visit of the Taiwanese minister shall pave the way for more investments from the East Asian nation in India.
As Taiwan is not a member of the UN, India is yet to recognise the island nation as a State. Hence, India has some difficulties in establishing full diplomatic ties with Taiwan. However, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs believes that it would not be an obstacle in strengthening economic and trade cooperation with Taiwan. Meanwhile, the Indian Ministry has admitted that cordial ties between India and Taiwan would irk China.
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