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Taiwan and Indian flag

Deterring an attack on Taiwan: policy options for India and other non-belligerent states

By Dr Arzan Tarapore

India has a vital role to play in deterring China from unifying Taiwan by military force, a new Australian Strategic Policy Institute report finds, highlighting New Delhi’s significant economic, diplomatic, legal and strategic narrative levers.

The report looks beyond traditional thinking on military preparations to dissuade Beijing from taking the island by force and offers six ways for India, with its great strategic and economic weight, to “help shape Beijing’s calculus away from the use of force”.

The author writes that the use of such long-term measures is vital to New Delhi’s own interests, as the economic and regional security impacts of a major war would be devastating for India itself.  India and other “non-belligerent states” could apply a range of measures to persuade Beijing that the time is not right for a military attack. The aim would be to convince Beijing that "its ducks aren’t quite in a row... so that it defers military action to some uncertain point in the future".

The report states that China remains deterrable. While it is determined to assume control of the island as a paramount strategic priority, it knows a military invasion would be enormously costly and uncertain.