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Officials from India, Taiwan, US discuss cybersecurity at New Delhi meet

Dec 11, 2023 06:25 PM IST

The workshop is being held under the Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF), a platform created by Taiwan and the US in 2015

New Delhi: Representatives from India, Taiwan and the US are holding an in-person meeting in New Delhi to deepen operational expertise and share best practices on cybersecurity, the first time the three sides have collaborated on technology issues.

Officials from India, Taiwan and the US are holding an in-person meeting in New Delhi to deepen operational expertise and share best practices on cybersecurity (Shutterstock)
Officials from India, Taiwan and the US are holding an in-person meeting in New Delhi to deepen operational expertise and share best practices on cybersecurity (Shutterstock)

Former National Cyber Security Coordinator Lt Gen Rajesh Pant, Taiwan’s representative to India, Baushuan Ger, US ambassador Eric Garcetti and the United Service Institution, a leading Indian defence and security think tank with close ties to the armed forces, co-hosted the two-day joint workshop that began on Monday.

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The workshop is being held under the Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF), a platform created by Taiwan and the US in 2015 to use Taipei’s strengths and expertise to address global issues of mutual concern. The workshop is also the first in-person GCTF programme held in India.

According to a readout from the US embassy, Pant said cybersecurity is a major part of national security for India since the country has more than 800 million internet users and 1.2 billion smart phones. Ger highlighted GCTF’s importance as a platform to utilise Taiwan’s strengths and expertise to address issues of global concern.

Garcetti said, “The US is committed to working closely with partners like India and Taiwan to enhance cybersecurity and protect our shared interests in the digital space. When we connect, protect and detect with technology, instead of fearing what it can do to divide or oppress us, we can take full advantage of the nearly limitless potential that these advances will bring.”

The readout added: “The United States looks forward to continued collaboration with India, Taiwan, and like-minded partners to tackle shared challenges.”

There was no immediate word on the meeting from the Indian side.

India and Taiwan don’t have formal diplomatic relations, though both sides established representative offices in each other’s capitals in 1995. Taiwan also set up an office in Chennai in December 2012 and has plans to enhance its official presence in India by setting up a new office in Mumbai. Taiwanese firms have also emerged as key players in India’s efforts to attract technology and know-how from abroad in order to become a manufacturer of semiconductors.

The Taiwanese side has also taken several steps to bolster cooperation with India on security-related issues, with former Indian Army chief Gen Manoj Naravane, former navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh and former air force chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria visiting the self-governed island in August to attend an official event.

The three retired service chiefs were invited by Taiwan’s foreign ministry to the Ketagalan Forum, which focused on enhancing cooperation to maintain peace and security in the Indo-Pacific. They also held talks with the Institute of National Defence and Security Research, the think tank of Taiwan’s defence ministry.

The visit prompted an angry response from China, with the foreign ministry in Beijing saying it “firmly opposes” such trips and that India should “refrain from having any form of military and security cooperation with Taiwan”.

Since its launch in 2015, GCTF has held 70 international workshops, which were joined by participants from more than 120 countries, to strengthen connections among experts on topics such as public health, supply chains, humanitarian assistance, digital health and other regional issues.

Also Read: Taiwan, India to seal pact on migration to overcome Taipei’s shortage of workers

The US, Taiwan, the Australian Office in Taipei and the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association jointly administer GCTF, which acts as a platform for Taiwan to share its expertise with partners across the world.

Taiwan has world-class experts in a wide variety of fields, including public health, law enforcement, disaster relief, energy cooperation, women’s empowerment, digital economy, cyber security, and good governance.

“However, because many international institutions do not allow Taiwan to participate, Taiwan’s experts are not able to share their knowledge. The GCTF allows practitioners from around the world to learn what Taiwan has to offer and to strengthen connections between experts in different countries as they tackle 21st century problems that do not respect borders,” the readout said.

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