Assamese diplomat Gourangalal Das appointed as India’s envoy to Taiwan

July 12, 2020: Amid the border tensions with China, the centre has chosen a senior diplomat hailing from Assam as India’s new envoy to Taiwan.

DY365
DY365
Assamese diplomat Gourangalal Das appointed as India’s envoy to Taiwan

July 12, 2020: Amid the border tensions with China, the centre has chosen a senior diplomat hailing from Assam as India’s new envoy to Taiwan.

Gourangalal Das, currently Joint Secretary (Americas) in the Ministry of External Affairs, who hails from Barpeta district will be the next envoy to Taiwan.

The appointment of Das as envoy to Taiwan comes weeks after the BJP asked two of its MPs, Meenakshi Lekhi and Rahul Kaswan, to attend via virtual mode the swearing-in ceremony of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on May 20 - a fortnight after the start of the standoff with China on the Line of Actual Control.

India does not have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan because of its One-China policy. It has an office in Taipei to carry out diplomatic functions. It operates under the name of India-Taipei Association, and Das will be its new Director General.

From the 1999 batch of the Indian Foreign Service, Das, who is fluent in Mandarin, was in Beijing between 2001 and 2004. He returned as First Secretary (Political) in 2006 and remained there until 2009.

He had also served as a Deputy Secretary handling External Affairs in the Prime Minister’s Office during the tenure of Manmohan Singh. He was retained for the transition in 2014.

As Counsellor (Political) at the Indian embassy in Washington DC, he played a key role during the Prime Minister’s visit in June 2017 when he met US President Donald Trump.

Das returned to New Delhi and was tasked by then Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar to set up the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies, the in-house think tank to study China post-Doklam.

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