In a move indicative of its increasing cross-border tensions with China, the Indian government has selected a Mandarin speaking senior ranking diplomat, and expert in Indo – US relations, to serve as its new representative to Taiwan.
In reports from India overnight, Mr. Gourangalal Das, who is at present serving as a Joint Secretary (Americas) in the Ministry of External Affairs, is the new man to take India’s top post in Taipei, with an official announcement expected by New Delhi in the coming days.
New Delhi and Taipei have no formal diplomatic relations although India does have an office in Taipei serving as a de-facto embassy titled the ‘India-Taipei Association.’
When appointed, Mr. Das will be the new Director General.
At time of typing no response has been made by Beijing, although the appointment of such a high profile individual to Taipei will undoubtedly draw the ire of authorities in the Chinese capital.
A career diplomat, Mr. Das joined India’s Foreign Service in the late 90s, and is reportedly a fluent Mandarin speaker, having previously served his government in Beijing, prior to domestic postings in New Delhi, including time as a Deputy Secretary handling External Affairs in the Prime Minister’s.
More recently, Mr. Das served as a Counsellor (Political) at India’s embassy in the U.S. capital, and helped in hosting the 2017 visit of the Indian Prime Minister to Washington.
In his most recent posting, he has helped increase Indo – US ties, and wider relations with Japan and Australia, both nations with their own ongoing issues with China.