Indian officials attend Taiwan's National Day banquet ahead of Xi Jinping's arrival

Attendance belies speculation that Indian govt. would bar officials from attending

Taiwan National Day dragon dance performance in New Delhi

Taiwan National Day dragon dance performance in New Delhi (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Indian government dignitaries and scholars alike attended a National Day of Taiwan dinner party held by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center (TECC) at New Delhi's Hyatt Regency Delhi on October 9 — the eve before Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in India for his 2nd informal summit with Indian President Narendra Modi.

Despite speculation that Indian officials would be restricted from participating considering the timing of the event, many still arrived unhindered, according to CNA. Attendees included MPs of the Indian People's Party and its national spokesperson, Meenakshi Lekhi, as well as ambassadors from Germany, Paraguay, and other countries.

The relationship between Taiwan and India has improved meaningfully in recent years, with Taiwan being one of the first countries to renew bilateral investment agreements with the South Asian state. TECC Representative James Tien (田中光) observed that bilateral trade increased sixfold between 2000 and 2018, reaching US$7.5 billion (NT$230 billion), while Taiwanese investments in India totaled US$36 million in 2018, 12 times those of 2016.

Tien lauded current projects involving talent exchange programs and technological cooperation, such as the ICT clusters recently established in Bangalore by Taiwanese firms, as proof that the collaboration between Taiwan and India is making rapid progress, CNA reported.