December 24, 2016
The Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Republic of India signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for Cooperation on Railway Heritage in Chiayi City on December 24. The two governments were represented at the signing ceremony by Representative Tien Chung-kwang of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in India and Director General Sridharan Madhusudhanan of the India-Taipei Association.
Taiwan and India each constructed mountain railways between the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the Alishan Forest Railway in Chiayi County, Taiwan, and such railway systems as the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Kalka Shimla Railway and Nilgiri Mountain Railway in India. Through the LOI, both countries will further engage in cooperation for the protection, safeguard and management of their mountain railway heritage.
This LOI is the third bilateral document signed by Taiwan and India this year, following as it does an air services agreement and a memorandum of understanding on agricultural cooperation. The LOI fulfills the New Southbound Policy goal of sharing resources and promotes cultural exchange and cooperation, advancing both countries’ tourism industries. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs looks forward to strengthening Taiwan’s cooperative partnership with India in various fields such as economics and trade, education, culture, and science and technology.
The ceremony, held in conjunction with celebrations for the 104th anniversary of the operation of Alishan Forest Railway, was also attended by representatives from the Council of Agriculture, the Ministry of Transportation, Chiayi City government, Chiayi County government and a number of civil groups. (E)